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Russia launches its second direct gas pipeline to EU

MOSCOW--Russia has opened a new 6.4-billion-euro (US$8.3 billion) pipeline under the Baltic Sea directly linking western Europe with Siberia's vast natural gas reserves.

The 761-mile (1,224-kilometer) pipeline began ferrying gas Monday from Portovaya Bay in northern Russia to Lubmin on Germany's northeastern Baltic coast as part of the Nord Stream project, which doubled its annual capacity to 55 billion cubic meters. A first pipeline was opened last November.

Nord Stream also announced on its website that it is exploring setting up a new company by 2013 to develop one or two additional pipelines.

Europe gets about two fifths of its natural gas from Russia, which has the world's largest reserves.

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