The Nord Stream consortium has signed a letter of intent with Italian oilfield services company Saipem for work on the planned natural gas pipeline which will send Russian gas to the European Union via the Baltic Sea, the joint venture said today.
Nord Stream said in a statement on its website it had selected Saipem from a shortlist of three. The job includes laying two parallel 48-inch pipes linking Vyborg in Germany to Griefswald in Germany.
The 1200 kilometre pipeline will be laid between 2009 and 2012, the statement said. A detailed contract is expected to be in place by February next year, Nord Stream said.
No details of financial terms were provided.
Industry sources told Upstream in August that a deal with Saipem worth at least $2 billion was in the works.
The company said it would award two further tenders for logistics support and pipe supply in the coming weeks.
Nord Stream includes Russian gas export monopoly Gazprom, and German energy groups Wintershall and E.ON Ruhrgas.