France Eyes Stake in Gazprom Pipeline

14 September 2009 (Last Updated September 14th, 2009 18:30)

French energy giant EDF could take a 10% stake in Gazprom's South Stream pipeline, giving France a role in both new Russian gas links to Europe, according to Russian news reports. Moscow's Kommersant newspaper cited industry sources as saying that Gazprom and EDF would soon sign

French energy giant EDF could take a 10% stake in Gazprom's South Stream pipeline, giving France a role in both new Russian gas links to Europe, according to Russian news reports.

Moscow's Kommersant newspaper cited industry sources as saying that Gazprom and EDF would soon sign a memorandum of understanding.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin discussed the project with French leader Francois Fillon when they met on Monday.

South Stream will be built under the Black Sea and is seen as the main competitor to the EU and US-backed Nabucco pipeline.

The pipeline aims to reduce Europe's energy dependence on Russia by securing gas from the Caspian region.

French company GDF Suez is also planning to take a 9% stake in Russia's Nord Stream, a pipeline that will go to Germany via the Baltic Sea.

Gazprom and EDF have not commented on the Kommersant report.