MOSCOW, Oct 14 (Reuters) - Gazprom CEO Alexei
Miller told Russia's State TV Channel One late on Thursday that
a big section of the damaged Nord Stream pipelines might need to
be replaced, while Russia plans boosting gas exports via the
Black Sea and Turkey.
Both Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines, which
were built to transport gas from Russia to Germany via the bed
of the Baltic Sea, were damaged last month, spewing out a large
amount of gas.
Investigation into the incidents is under way. Russia called
it an "act of international terrorism", pointing the finger at
the West, while the European Union called it a "sabotage".
Both pipelines, stretching more than 1,000 km (620 miles)
under the sea, were idle at the time of the ruptures.
"Experts say that in order to restore work after such a
terrorist act, it is necessary to actually cut off a very large
piece of pipe, at a great distance, and in fact build a new
section on this section," Miller told the TV station.
"And in order to restore integrity, it must be raised, this
pipe. And you understand, it is one thing when the pipe is
hollow, yes, and another thing when it is filled with sea water
for hundreds of kilometres."
On Wednesday, Miller, head of the Russian state-controlled
natural gas monopoly, said repairs to the damaged Nord Stream
pipelines would take more than one year.
Russian President Vladimir Putin touted Turkey earlier this
week as the best route for redirecting gas supplies to the
European Union after Nord Stream pipeline leaks. He proposed to
set up a gas hub in Turkey.
Miller said that Russia will start "concrete" talks with
Turkey next week on the proposals.
He said Russia could boost gas supplies to Turkey by
constructing new pipelines in parallel to the currently
operational TurkStream pipeline via the Black Sea, adding that
the project design documentation has already been prepared.
Miller said the gas supplies via the Black Sea may reach 63
billion cubic metres (bcm) per year. That's compared to 55 bcm
of each of Nord Stream's capabilities and 31.5 bcm of
TurkStream's transport capacity.
(Writing by Elaine Monaghan and Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by
David Gregorio and David Evans)