Pieter Schelte Loses South Stream Gig

The world’s largest crane vessel Pieter Schelte will have to change plans for the summer 2015, as the recent developments saw the South Stream gas pipeline project fall through.

Namely, the behemoth vessel, which is currently en route from South Korea to Rotterdam for final outfitting, was hired in April to lay cables for approximately 900 km of offshore pipeline for the second line of the project in the said period.

However, during a recent visit to Turkey Russian President Vladimir Putin said Moscow was backing down from the project amid reluctance of the EU to give the go-ahead to plans to supply southern Europe with gas via Bulgaria. Putin added that Turkey may be an alternative option for the plans.

In line with that announcement, Alexey Miller, Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee and Mehmet Konuk, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Botas Petroleum Pipeline Corporation signed in Ankara a Memorandum of Understanding on constructing an offshore gas pipeline across the Black Sea towards Turkey.

The new gas pipeline will have a capacity of 63 billion cubic meters, with 14 billion cubic meters slated for Turkish consumers (identical amount is being delivered via the Balkan Corridor) and nearly 50 billion cubic meters conveyed to the border between Turkey and Greece, where a delivery point will be arranged.

Commenting on the decision, the vessel’s Swiss-based owner, Allseas, told OET in a statement that: “The loss of the South Stream line 2 contract is unfortunate and means that Allseas will now start searching  for new work for that period.” 

Italian oil and gas industry contractor Saipem, which was also hired for the project, commented on the decision, saying that it has not received any formal notice of termination of the contract from the client, South Stream Transport BV.

“Operational activities therefore continue to progress. The potential interruption of work and any possible cancellation of the project are subject to the terms of the contract,” the company said.

World Maritime News Staff

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