Russian pipeline supplies of gas to South Korea are set to start in 2017, two years later than originally planned, it was revealed today.

Alexei Miller, chief executive of gas giant Gazprom, said the date had been agreed in talks between the two countries’ presidents Dmitry Medvedev and Lee Myung-Bak.

“Gas co-operation issues have been discussed during the talks, we may expect supplies of Russian pipeline gas to South Korea to start in 2017,” he told Russian news agency Prime.

An agreement was reached between the countries in 2008 for 10 billion cubic metres of gas per year to be piped to South Korea, with an anticipated start date of 2015.

Concerns over North Korea’s nuclear programme slowed progress as the pipeline would have to pass across the north. But earlier this year North Korea’s leader agreed to the pipeline plan in return for around $100m in transit fees.

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