South Stream project today is not in competition with the Nabucco West project, Head of the Energy Policy Center at the Institute of Europe at the Russian Academy of Sciences, Aleksey Khaitun told Trend over telephone.
"South Stream is very expensive project," Khaitun said, adding that the current position of Gazprom will not allow it to establish a monopoly.
Moreover, Khaitun believes that it will be technically very difficult to lay the pipeline along the bottom of the Black Sea.
The South Stream project is implemented to diversify the routes of natural gas supplies to the European consumers and envisages the construction of a gas pipeline across the Black Sea to the South and Central Europe. The total design capacity of the offshore section of the South Stream is 63 billion cubic meters a year. Gazprom is implementing the pipeline offshore section in cooperation with Italian Eni S.p.A.
Some experts belive that the South Stream project is a rival to the Southern Gas Corridor, in particular, Nabucco project.
However, Khaytun believes these two projects may be implemented concurrently, if large gas volumes are available.
Nabucco West is a short-cut version of Nabucco project, which envisages construction of the pipeline from Turkish-Bulgarian border to Austria.
Gas to be produced within the second phase of Azerbaijani Shah Deniz gas field development is considered as the main source for the project.
The project's current shareholders are Bulgarian Energy Holding, Romanian Transgaz, Turkish Botas, Austrian OMV, German RWE and Hungary's FGSZ.