Italy Loses $2.2b Gazprom Deal

Italy Loses $2.2b Gazprom Deal Italy Loses $2.2b Gazprom Deal

Saipem SpA, Italy’s biggest oil-services contractor, lost a $2.2 billion contract to lay a Russian natural-gas pipeline under the Black Sea after its fleet waited seven months for the work to start.

Russia’s OAO Gazprom canceled the deal because it could not agree with Saipem on terms, Sergei Kupriyanov, a spokesman for the Moscow-based company, was quoted by World Bulletin as saying.

Saipem had expected to start work on the project, called Turkish Stream, in June. The contract had been transferred from the scrapped South Stream pipeline, which was abandoned at the end of last year as Russia’s relations with the European Union soured over the conflict in Ukraine.

Saipem, controlled by Italian oil producer Eni SpA, confirmed the cancellation in a statement on Thursday, citing a contractual clause of “termination for convenience,” Worldbulletin reported.

The cancellation comes only a week after Russia approved access for Saipem’s ships to lay pipes in the Black Sea. The government is keen to press ahead with the Turkish Stream project, which it sees as an alternative to South Stream and would run to Turkey instead of through Bulgaria, bypassing Ukraine.