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Gazprom invites Transgaz to join SouthStream

Russia's Gazprom has asked Romanian state-owned gas pipeline operator Transgaz to join the South Stream gas pipeline project, Economy Minister Adriean Videanu said.

The statement comes a day after Gazprom deputy chief Alexander Medvedev met Romanian energy officials in Bucharest to discuss plans to build an underground storage facility in Romania. He would not elaborate but said further details will be given in a news conference yet to be scheduled.

Ministry officials later clarified there was nothing concrete yet and that talks were ongoing. The Gazprom-led South Stream pipeline project has been designed to bypass Ukraine to transport Russian gas under the Black Sea to Bulgaria and inwards to Serbia and Europe.

Transgaz is a partner in the Nabucco project, together with Austria's OMV, Hungary's MOL, Bulgaria's Bulgargaz, Turkey's Botas and Germany's RWE. (Reuters)