MOSCOW, Oct. 18 (UPI) -- Russian energy company Gazprom said it welcomed delegates from Italy's ENI to discuss their intent to build the South Stream natural gas pipeline on time.
Germany energy company Wintershall joined ENI, French major EDF and Russia's Gazprom in the South Stream natural gas pipeline consortium with a 15 percent stake in September.
Gazprom Chairman Alexei Miller met with ENI Chief Executive Officer Paolo Scaroni to discuss the partnership and reconfirm their commitment to implement the South Stream gas pipeline, the Russian company said.
South Stream would split with arteries headed to Greece and the Balkans after passing through the Turkish waters of the Black Sea. It would carry roughly 2.2 trillion cubic feet of gas per year when it goes into service by 2015.
ENI said the entry of Wintershall demonstrates the interest of regional partners in the project.
ENI last week announced it restarted the Greenstream pipeline, which carries natural gas from Libya. Italy was receiving 10 percent of its natural gas from Libya before the onset of the war there in March.
Dusan Bajatovic, general director of Serbia's state-owned gas company Srbijagas, told delegates at an energy conference last week that construction on a 250-mile section of South Stream could start by the end of the year.