MOSCOW, Dec. 30 (UPI) -- Russian energy company Gazprom said it signed agreements with former joint venture partners to take full ownership of the South Stream gas pipeline group.
Gazprom announced it bought out its partners at Italian energy company Eni, French major EDF and Germany's Wintershall to take full control over the venture.
None of the companies involved in the operation disclosed the financial terms of the sale, other than to say they were reimbursed fully for their cash investments.
South Stream had an optimum capacity of 2.2 trillion cubic feet per year. It would've stretched across the Black Sea to Bulgaria and then north to European markets.
Russian officials in mid-December confirmed the project was no longer viable as envisioned in 2007. Instead, Gazprom Deputy Chief Executive Officer Alexander Medvedev said a project dubbed Turkish Stream may take its place in the Black Sea.
Fitch Ratings said the South Stream decision reflects low demand for additional natural gas volumes in the European market as much as it does frustration with Russia's role in the market. Austrian energy company OMV, a former South Stream consortium member, said it viewed the recent announcements as political in nature.
A Russian economy hobbled by a reliance on Europe as a destination for oil and natural gas, whose exports account for more than half of Russian revenues, has pivoted toward energy-hungry Asia-Pacific.
Gazprom Chief Executive Officer Alexei Miller met Monday in Moscow with Li Hui, the Chinese ambassador to Russia.
"The meeting participants stressed that the departing year was seminal for the Russian-Chinese relations in the energy sector and expressed their confidence that the partnership would keep on gaining momentum," a Gazprom statement read.