Russian gas company Gazprom has announced that it has set up of a co-ordinating committee for the South Stream project, a new gas pipeline system that will link Russia to the EU across the Black Sea.

Gazprom and Italian utility Eni signed a memorandum of understanding for the realization of the South Stream project in June 2007.

Alexey Miller, chairman of the Gazprom management committee, signed the order for the committee, which will prepare and implement activities stipulated by the agreement signed with Eni to examine opportunities for the construction of the gas pipeline.

Before June 2008, the committee is expected to organize an investment feasibility study for the South Stream project, as well as further activities for the practical execution of the project.

Alexander Medvedev, deputy chairman of the Gazprom management committee and director general of Gazprom export, has been appointed as head of the co-ordinating committee.