By JAN HROMADKO
FRANKFURT -- Nord Stream, the consortium that operates a natural gas pipeline that ships Russian gas to western Europe via the Baltic Sea, said over the weekend it is considering further expanding the pipeline.
In a written statement, the consortium, led by Russian gas monopoly Gazprom, said its shareholders have asked the company to conduct "a feasibility study" into possible options to further increase capacities.
"Over the next eight months, Nord Stream will make an assessment of various criteria of up to two potential additional pipelines, including technical solutions, route alternatives, environment and financing," the company said.
It didn't say by how much the expansion could increase gas shipping capacity.
A Nord Stream spokesman said the exact amount of the possible capacity expansion will be determined in the feasibility study.
"We will look at how much additional gas will be needed in northwestern Europe in the coming decades" and make a decision accordingly, the spokesman said.
Dow Jones Newswires