Gazprom Inaugurates South Ossetia Pipeline to Bypass Georgia

OAO Gazprom, Russia’s state-run natural gas producer, officially inaugurated a pipeline from Russia to South Ossetia, bypassing Georgia.

The link, stretching 75 kilometers (46 miles), was commissioned in a ceremony attended by Deputy Chief Executive Officer Alexander Ananenkov, the Moscow-based company said in an e-mailed statement today.

The pipeline is designed to reduce the risk of gas supplies flowing via an existing Georgian pipeline after deliveries were disrupted in a war between Russia and Georgia in August 2008. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev recognized the sovereignty of South Ossetia, as well as the breakaway Georgian region of Abkhazia, a year ago today.

Gazprom estimated the cost of the pipeline at 15 billion rubles ($476 million), the RIA Novosti news service cited Ananenkov as saying in South Ossetia.

To contact the reporter on this story: Anna Shiryaevskaya in Moscow at ashiryaevska@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Guy Collins at guycollins@bloomberg.net

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