* GDF Suez takes 9 pct stake,gas supply from Baltic pipeline
* Deal to be signed at 1800 GMT with Sarkozy, Medvedev
* Deal to raise GDF Suez gas supplies by 10 pct from 2015
(Recast with statement, more details)
By Muriel Boselli
PARIS, March 1 France's GDF Suez GSZ.PA has
signed a deal with Russian gas monopoly Gazprom (GAZP.MM) to
take a nine-percent stake in the yet-to-be-build Nord Stream gas
pipeline, the companies said in a joint statement on Monday.
An industry source told Reuters on Wednesday that an
agreement will be signed in Paris this week during Russian
President Dmitry Medveded's three-day state visit to France.
The same source told Reuters that GDF Suez will get 1.5
billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas per year from 2015 from the
pipeline, as part of the deal.
GDF Suez had been in talks for over a year to join the
project built by Gazprom and German utility E.ON (EONGn.DE),
which will carry 55 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas annually
from Russia to Germany via the Baltic Sea from 2012.
"GDF Suez will be in the project before construction starts
on the pipeline in April," the industrial source told Reuters
earlier on Monday, asking not to be named.
The deal will be officially signed at 1800 GMT at the Elysee
Palace by GDF Suez Chief Executive Gerard Mestrallet and Gazprom
chief Alexei Miller, in the presence of French President Nicolas
Sarkozy and his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev.
Medvedev travels to France on Monday and is also set to
discuss Iran and the purchase of a helicopter carrier.
GDF Suez will buy its nine-percent stake from current
shareholders -- 4.5 percent from E.ON and the remaining 4.5
percent stake from Wintershall BASF.DE.
The source said this deal will allow GDF Suez to increase
its gas supplies by 10 percent. GDF Suez currently buys between
12-13 bcm annually.
Russia's differences with Ukraine, the main transit route
for Russian gas, has led Moscow to propose two pipelines, the
Nord Stream and South Stream, running north and south of the
European Union bloc, which would bypass transit states entirely.
Russia is also pushing forward with the South Stream project
aimed at supplying gas to the south of Europe from the Caspian
Sea region and bypassing transit states, such as Ukraine.
French utility EDF (EDF.PA) is in discussions with Gazprom
and Italian energy company ENI (ENI.MI) to join South Stream
In January 2009, Russian gas supplies to Europe came to a
halt for almost two weeks as Moscow and Kiev rowed over prices
and transit terms. Most of Russian gas deliveries to Europe pass
The Nord Stream approval came as a reprieve for Gazprom,
which had to delay the start of its giant Arctic Shtokman gas
field - one of the resource bases for the link - by three years
to 2016 due to a slump in gas demand. [ID:nLDE6141ZH]
The Nord Stream consortium said on Monday its initial
schedule for commissioning the pipeline remained intact despite
the Shtokman delay.
For a graphic of Europe imports of Russian gas, click on:
For a factbox on Nord Stream, click on [ID:nLDE61B06H]
(Reporting by Muriel Boselli; Editing by Marie Maitre and