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Gazprom Says U.K., BP Interested in Nord Stream Gas Pipeline

OAO Gazprom, the Russian gas-export monopoly seeking to expand European distribution, said the U.K. and BP Plc are interested in bringing the Moscow-based company’s Nord Stream pipeline to the island nation.

“There have been signals the U.K. would be interested, both on the government and corporate level, in one of the new lines of Nord Stream being extended to the U.K.,” Chief Executive Officer Alexey Miller said today in Moscow.

Toby Odone, a BP spokesman, declined to comment today.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said in June the pipeline, taking gas directly to Germany under the Baltic Sea, is aimed at serving all of Europe, not just Russia and Germany. Putin said at the time that the U.K. was interested in the project, which is Gazprom’s only direct natural-gas delivery route to Europe.

Nord Stream AG is carrying out a study into investing in a third and fourth line and will make a decision by the year-end, Miller said. “As far as Gazprom is concerned, we are already decided that for us, for Gazprom, it makes sense,” he said.

Gazprom holds 51 percent of the Zug, Switzerland-based venture, EON AG and Wintershall AG each have 15.5 percent and GDF Suez and Nederlandse Gasunie NV 9 percent, according to Nord Stream’s website. Its structure will stay the same apart from the possible addition of partners for a U.K. line, Miller said.

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