Soviet gas line may use US parts
Moscow — US equipment will probably be used in a mammoth Soviet pipeline project the Reagan administration opposes, Western commercial sources here say, according to Monitor correspondent Ned Temko. The multibillion-dollar enterprise would pipe Siberian natural gas to West European states. US officials say this could make Western Europe dangerously dependent on Soviet energy, a contention both the Soviets and Europeans deny.
Plans by a Franco-German consortium contracted to provide 22 compressor stations for the line envisage use of General Electric turbines in all the stations, the sources say. The turbines, as a whole, would not come from the United States. They are produced under license by West European companies. But the sources say the companies do not at present produce the entire turbine. Some key parts come from the US.
Dozens of the turbines have been imported by the Soviet Union in recent years. The US parts for them have not been subject to a Carter administration embargo on high-technology exports to the USSR.
A Reagan administration attempt to stop shipment of turbines parts would not prevent the pipeline project but could complicate it, Western sources say. Business sources here do not expect US intervention, partly because it could lead to further strain with West European allies.