Saipem Notified of Marine Activity Halt Following South Stream Termination

© East News / Mikhail Metzel/AP/XMIM101A worker does the preparation work for welding the first section of the South Stream pipeline in Anapa, Russia
A worker does the preparation work for welding the first section of the South Stream pipeline in Anapa, Russia - Sputnik International
Saipem, a subsidiary of Italian energy company Eni has announced that it had been officially notified of contract termination from South Stream Transport BV.

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ROME, December 5 (Sputnik) – Saipem, a subsidiary of Italian energy company Eni, has been notified that all activities, related to South Stream project pipe laying are being suspended, the company has announced.

"…regarding the South Stream project, Saipem announces that it has received a 'Notification of suspension of Marine Spread activities' from the client," the company said in a statement Thursday, adding that the notification "covers all vessels currently engaged in activities related to pipe laying".

"At present it is not possible to determine the economic impact of the suspension on Saipem's business, as both the duration of the suspension and the client's ultimate decision on the project are unknown," the statement concluded.

On Tuesday, Saipem said it had not received any formal notice of contract termination from South Stream Transport BV and was therefore continuing with its operational activities.

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On Thursday, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said that Russia's decision to reject the South Stream project is final.

On December 1, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia was not willing to continue the implementation of the South Stream project in light of the European Commission's "non-constructive" stance on the matter. Russian energy giant Gazprom CEO later announced that Russia is terminating the project and has no plans of reviving it.

On December 2, the marketing director of Czech gas company Vemex told Sputnik that the consequences of scrapping the South Stream gas project could be disastrous for some European states.

The construction of the South Stream was announced in 2012. The pipeline's offshore section was designed to go under the Black Sea, while its onshore stretch was to cross Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary and Slovenia. South Stream was expected to be fully operational by 2018.

Brussels has repeatedly said that the project violates the European Union's Third Energy Package, according to which it is illegal to own a pipeline and produce the natural gas that flows through it at the same time. Moscow has insisted that the construction of the pipeline does not contradict the regulations.

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