The consortium that plans to build an underwater Baltic Sea gas pipeline from Russia to Germany on Monday released an overview of the project to date.
The report said the Nord Stream AG consortium had considered various routes and concluded that "the off-shore route turns out to be the more environmental friendly," citing that a land-based route would "cross ecologically sensitive areas on land and possibly conflict with alternative land use."
The 536-page report covers the period up to June 2008, Nord Stream AG said, adding that a final draft was due to be presented in October this year.
"The White Book is another element of the ongoing dialogue that we are conducting with the public and governments in all Baltic Sea states," Nord Stream permitting director Dirk von Ameln said in a statement.
The 1,200-kilometer pipeline would run from Vyborg in Russia to Greifswald, Germany.
The consortium includes Russian gas giant Gazprom, Germany's BASF/Wintershall and EON Ruhrgas and Dutch group Gasunie.
Other issues discussed in the report concerned minimising the impact on fish and birds as well as comments from various government agencies and stakeholders that have taken part in public hearings and seminars.
The impact on fish and the fishing industry was "in general very unlikely for most of the pipeline sections," the report said.
Other concerns have been that the pipeline could disturb World War II-era chemical munitions dumped in the Baltic and harm the marine ecology.
Nord Stream said it is conducting "extensive munitions surveys" and if it was not able to reroute the pipeline "the identified munitions must be cleared."
Copyright 2008 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH