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Gazprom wants link to United Kingdom

April 10, 2013 at 8:34 AM   |   Comments

THE HAGUE, Netherlands, April 10 (UPI) -- Russian natural gas markets may connect to the United Kingdom through a possible expansion of the Nord Stream gas pipeline, Gazprom's Alexei Miller said.

British energy company BP said last year it was considering linking the Nord Stream natural gas pipeline to British ports. The twin Nord Stream pipeline runs from Russia's eastern ports through the Baltic Sea to Germany.

The Nord Stream lines are each designed to transport about 1.9 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. The first leg of the pipeline system went into service in 2011.

Gazprom board Chairman Miller met in The Hague with Paul Van Gelder, president of Dutch energy company Gasunie. In the presence of Russian President Vladimir Putin, both sides signed an agreement to explore the potential to expand the Nord Stream pipeline.

"The new string can be oriented to the new markets and will for the first time connect Russia and the United Kingdom," he said in a statement. "We see a keen interest of the British partners to the project."

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said last month during meetings with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that both sides have an opportunity to explore further work in the natural gas sector.

Gelder said natural gas was a "perfect partner" for economies like Britain's, which needs reliable supplies for a low-carbon future.

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