OREANDA-NEWS.  February 22, 2012. The Gazprom headquarters hosted today a working meeting between Alexey Miller, Chairman of the Company's Management Committee and Dusan Bajatovic, Director General of Srbijagas.

Russian-Serbian cooperation in the energy sector was discussed during the meeting.

In addition, Alexey Miller and Dusan Bajatovic reviewed the progress with South Stream. As part of the project, a contract for designing the Serbian part of the gas pipeline is expected to be signed in the nearest future.
The parties paid special attention to the first South Stream facility, the Banatski Dvor underground gas storage, commissioned by Gazprom and Srbijagas at the end of the previous year. Dusan Bajatovic noted that gas consumption peaks had been smoothed out in Serbia during abnormally cold snaps – thanks largely to the UGS facility reserves.

Alexey Miller and Dusan Bajatovic also confirmed their intentions to sign a long-term purchase and sale agreement for Russian gas in the amount of some 2 billion cubic meters per year.

In 2011 Gazprom supplied Serbia with 1.4 billion cubic meters of natural gas.

Srbijagas is the Serbian state-owned company dealing with natural gas transmission, distribution and storage in Serbia.

With a view to diversify the natural gas export routes Gazprom is constructing a gas pipeline running under the Black Sea to the countries of Southern and Central Europe – the South Stream project. Intergovernmental agreements were signed with Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Greece, Slovenia, Croatia and Austria in order to implement the onshore gas pipeline section.

On January 25, 2008 Russia and Serbia signed the Umbrella Intergovernmental Agreement for the South Stream project and the Banatski Dvor UGS facility.

In November 2009 registration of the joint project company, South Stream Serbia AG, was accomplished. Gazprom holds a 51 per cent stake in the company and Srbijagas – a 49 per cent stake.

In October 2009 Gazprom and Srbijagas signed the Agreement on setting up a joint venture for the Banatski Dvor UGS facility. The joint venture has the following shareholding structure: Gazprom – 51 per cent, Srbijagas – 49 per cent.

The Banatski Dvor UGS facility was commissioned on November 21, 2011.