Gazprom, EDF agree on gas deals

Russian oil and gas behemoth Gazprom has agreed to supply French energy giant Électricité de France (EDF) up to 6 billion cubic metres (bcm) of natural gas.

Gazprom and EDF signed a memorandum in Paris regarding French participation in the construction of the South Stream gas pipeline project through the Black Sea.

The 63bcm capacity pipeline is being constructed jointly by Gazprom and Italian energy giant ENI SpA, which owns 50 per cent stake in the sub-sea part of the project.

Gazprom chief executive Alexei Miller said, "Our French partners are becoming minority shareholders in South Stream, its underwater part. Final agreements will be reached together with our Italian partners.''

It is expected that EDF will obtain 10 per cent stake in the underwater part of the South Stream project which is scheduled to become operational by 2015.
Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin who was on an official visit to Paris said: "An accord has just been signed between EDF and Gazprom on the entry of the French company in a great international transport project, the construction of a gas pipeline under the Black Sea."

"We have embarked upon complete cooperation with Russia," French prime minister Francois Fillon stated.