MOSCOW, Oct. 3 (UPI) -- The official launch of the Nord Stream pipeline designed to carry Russian natural gas to the European market is set for November, an official said.
Nord Stream is part of Russia's efforts to diversify its export options for Europe. Spats between Kiev and Moscow make the conventional route through Ukraine politically risky.
The Nord Stream consortium, led by Russian energy company Gazprom, said in early September that it started the four-week process of filling the first leg of Nord Stream with so-called buffer gas.
The first leg of the dual pipeline is set for an official launch date of Nov. 8, the Voice of Russia reports, citing Gazprom Chief Executive Officer Alexei Miller.
The second leg of the pipeline through the Baltic Sea is expected online next year.
Each line of the Nord Stream project is predicted to carry about 970 billion cubic feet of natural gas per year.
Gazprom said last month that South Stream, the southern counterpart to Nord Stream, is proceeding as planned.