Gazprom, the Russian state-owned energy monopoly that is under pressure from various countries owing to environmental and security concerns, is planning the first of three re-routings of the Baltic Sea pipeline - a move that could cost it an extra E1 billion.

The Russian-German project Nord Stream, which began two years ago, has been in controversy, with many countries in the northern and central parts of Europe raising several objections. Gazprom hopes that the re-routing will avoid problems involving countries such as Denmark, Poland, Finland and Estonia.

Jens Muller, a spokesman for Nord Stream, said that Gazprom decided to re-route the part of the pipeline that would have passed between the Danish and Polish parts of the Baltic Sea. The pipeline will now run north of Bornholm, adding an extra eight kilometers to its length.

Birgitta Jacobsen of the Danish Energy Authority, a division of the Danish Ministry of Transport and Energy, is quoted in the International Herald Tribune as saying: Nord Stream changed the route because there is no border demarcation between Poland and Denmark.

Once the project is completed, Russia will be able to directly send its gas supplies to the EU region. However, it may be a cause of worry for the EU because of its bloc’s reliance on Russia as the main energy supplier.