MILAN, July 16 (Reuters) - The South Stream's gas pipeline consortium expects to make a final investment decision on the project by the end of the year or early 2013, said Eni Chief Executive Paolo Scaroni on Monday on the sidelines of Eni's shareholders meeting.
South Stream, a Russian-backed rival to European pipeline which plans to ship gas from the Caspian region, is expected to export around 63 billion cubic metres (bcm) to southern Europe starting from 2015.
Russian gas export monopoly Gazprom owns 50 percent of the South Stream project, which is estimated to cost more than 15 billion euros ($19.3 billion).
Eni has 20 percent, and France's EDF and Germany's Wintershall each own 15 percent. (Reporting by Alberto Sisto)