EU asks Bulgaria to stop work on Gazprom's South Stream pipeline

|By:, SA News Editor

The EU is demanding that Bulgaria suspend construction work on Russia's South Stream natural gas pipeline project while it investigates the way contracts were awarded.

The EU says South Stream - a 50/50 joint venture between the Bulgarian government and Gazprom (OGZPY) - breaks EU rules that prohibit gas suppliers from also controlling pipeline access, and it has put on hold the approval process for the project.

South Stream would carry ~12% of Europe's current annual gas consumption via the Black Sea, bringing Russian gas to Europe largely circumventing Ukraine; it is due to be completed by 2018.