Gazprom’s South Stream to Stick to Pipeline Schedule Amid Probe

OAO Gazprom (OGZD)’s South Stream venture said it will stick with its schedule for a planned natural-gas pipeline to southern Europe after the European Union began an antitrust investigation into the Russian exporter of the fuel.

The timeframe for the pipeline remains unchanged, Marcel Kramer, head of the venture, said today in Sochi, southern Russia. Italy’s Eni SpA (ENI), Germany’s Wintershall AG and Electricite de France SA are partners in the project.

Gazprom, the world’s biggest gas producer, plans to build an underwater pipeline from Russia to Bulgaria along the Black Sea floor and into central and southern European countries. Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered Gazprom to push the start of construction forward to December this year from 2013.

EU regulators opened an investigation into Gazprom pricing and supplies this month, while Gazprom has denied any breaches.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephen Bierman in Moscow at sbierman1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at wkennedy3@bloomberg.net

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