MILAN, April 30 (Reuters) - The Italian government considers the South Stream pipeline project to carry Russian gas into Europe bypassing Ukraine as frozen, an Italian government source said on Wednesday.
The project had effectively been put on ice, the source said. “In the freezer, not the refrigerator.”
Two sources close to Gazprom said earlier on Wednesday the Russian energy giant had ditched plans to build a section of its disputed South Stream gas pipeline to Italy.
This came a day after Gazprom announced a deal with OMV to build a branch to Austria.
Italy will focus instead on the TAP pipeline, which will transport Azeri gas, and the ITGI Interconnector pipeline through Turkey and Greece into Italy, the government source said.
There was no immediate comment from the government.
Italian oil major Eni is one of Gazprom’s partners for the offshore part of South Stream.
Oil service group Saipem is involved in offshore work on the pipeline. (Reporting by Alberto Sisto, writing by Stephen Jewkes, editing by Isla Binnie)