Gazprom pushes ahead with new pipeline, despite Ukraine standoff

|By:, SA News Editor

Gazprom (OGZPY) wants to push ahead with plans to build a €16B ($22B) pipeline to send gas from Russia across the Black Sea and into Italy - bypassing Ukraine, through which ~50% of Europe-bound Russian gas flows - but in the wake of Russia's annexation of Crimea, the fate of the project is now in limbo.

Absent from today's talks between Gazprom and EU bureaucrats were executives from Gazprom's partners - Italy's Eni (E), Electricité de France (ECIFF) and Germany's Wintershall.

Despite the uncertainty, Gazprom, which holds a 50% stake in the project, is pressing ahead with construction, laying pipes in Russia, Bulgaria and Serbia in the hope that the pipeline will be operational by 2015.