Black Sea gas pipeline construction commences

The offshore pipeline, located approximately 4.5 km off the Black Sea coast, will be constructed using a fleet of pipelaying barges operated by Grup Servicii Petroliere. Both the C-Master barge, which operates in medium depth water, and Bigfoot I, better suited for shallow conditions, will be used in the project.

The entire pipeline will be 177 km in length, with a 530 mm diameter and a throughput capacity of 3.8 Bcm. The project is intended to secure energy supplies to the mountain resort of Sochi and Olympic facilities under construction. The route runs alone the Black Sea coast to the Kudepsta gas distribution station near Sochi, with gas pipeline landfalls near Dzhubga, Tuapse, Kudepsta and Novomikhailovskove.

Construction of the project began in September 2009, and 11.8 km of onshore pipe has been laid. To minimise disruption to the sensitive coastal environmental, horizontal directional drilling (HDD) has been used to install sections near the Tuapse and Kudepsta landfalls.

The offshore section will be completed by June 2010, and it is intended that the entire pipeline will be operational by mid-year.

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