The future of the South Stream pipeline project to carry Russian gas to Europe has been put in question by the escalating dispute over Ukraine, the chief executive of Italian oil major Eni said on March 20, Reuters has reported.
The future of the pipeline is "somewhat gloomy", Paolo Scaroni said during a parliamentary hearing in Rome.
The 2,400 km (1,500-mile) pipeline, led by Russia's Gazprom , is expected to be fully operational by 2018 at an estimated cost of around 17 billion euros ($23.4 billion).
Besides Gazprom and Eni the other shareholders in the project are France's EDF and Germany's Wintershall.
Scaroni said the Ukraine crisis could threaten the complex permitting process for the pipeline which will bypass Ukraine, running through the Black Sea and a number of European states.
"It will put into question the many authorisations that European countries must give to complete the project," Scaroni said.
Copyright: Reuters, 2014