The first string of the offshore gas pipeline “Turkish stream” on Saturday, November 4, entered the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of Turkey, is spoken in the message of the operator of the project.
“Pioneering Spirit, the world’s largest pipe-laying and construction vessel, said the event, placing in the sea pipe section and with the Russian and Turkish flag, symbolizing the crossing of the border of the EEZ between the two countries”, — stated in it.
At the same time reports on the completion of construction of the offshore sections of the two strings of the “Turkish stream” on the territory of the Russian EEZ. A total of 448 was laid kilometres of pipeline on the two pipelines. Less than 6 months, we have built nearly 25% of the offshore section. This corresponds to the planned schedule of construction. It is expected that the transportation of gas “Turkish stream” will begin in December 2019.
However, as we know, Ankara is not the most predictable partner. In addition, the second string of the gas pipeline is theoretically intended for European consumers, but the EU’s position on this issue is not yet announced.
— The first line of Turkish stream, as planned, will have a capacity of about 15 billion cubic meters of gas, — the Director of the national energy Institute Sergei Pravosudov. — Will buy them exclusively Turkey for its domestic needs.
Regarding the second leg of the new pipeline less clear. Previously considered a priority project “Poseidon”, when from Turkey, the gas would go through Greece to southern Italy. Now, priority is the other route that I know of. Assumes that Russian gas via Bulgaria and Greece will reach Hungary. And then maybe “go” in other countries. Route it reminds truncated “South stream”.
“SP”: — that is, neither by hook or by crook “Gazprom” comes back to the idea of supplying gas to Europe from the South?
— Differs from the “South stream” is significant. In the project “Gazprom” was declared as one of the shareholders of pipeline on the territories of transit countries. He would have owned about half of the shares. It gave him the means to prevent gas in the pipeline in other countries. Now the scheme is different. Russian gas giant just brings the gas to the border of Turkey. Next is there gas pipeline, which supplies Russian gas from Bulgaria to Turkey. Theoretically it can be run in the opposite direction. In Serbia and Hungary agree to do to modernize its gas transportation system (GTS) to accept delivery from the second leg of the “Turkish stream.” Some work is already under way there, as I understand it, without the participation of “Gazprom”, because the cost is not very large. Yes, and the volume of supply now will be much lower. “Turkish stream” is planned to supply about 30 billion cubic meters per year, South stream was designed for the volume twice.
“SP”: — the US does not put a spoke in the wheel “Turkish stream”? And we should not wait for dirty tricks from the Turks, who are known as not very predictable partners?
— The United States since the Soviet era has always been against all of gas pipelines from Russia went to Europe. But if you don’t count the “South stream”, they never managed to prevent the implementation of our oil and gas projects.
As for Ankara, in respect of first leg of the “Turkish stream,” the Turks, as it reduces transit risks for them. Now the Russian gas to them goes through the territory of Ukraine is unstable and will go directly from Russia. As for the second line, its route through Turkey agreed. Theoretically, problems may arise later if spoil relations with Russia. But if the pipeline to be launched, as we see in the case of Ukraine, even the most anti-Russian leadership is difficult to break contracts and to waive transit fees.
— Yes, with the first thread of the “Turkish stream” problems, most likely, will not — says a leading expert of the national energy security Fund Igor Yushkov. — But with the second there are problems, but not because of Turkey but because of the complexity of the relations between Russia and the European Union. It is not entirely clear which route will the second thread of a gas pipeline outside Turkish territory. In a preliminary agreement with Ankara saying that the pipeline can go up to the border with Greece, Gazprom now says about the transit through Bulgaria. There is agreement on Russian gas supplies from the South to Serbia and Hungary. But with the Bulgaria agreement there is no agreement with the EU that they will not put a spoke in the wheels of this project. Guarantee that will not repeat history, what was with the “South stream” is not.
But Turkey is very pragmatic. She welcomed the construction of not only Russian, but also in other pipelines. In particular, Ankara is not against the TRANS-Caspian pipeline, which carried gas from Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan. Not even against gas from Iran, with whom Ankara is not the easiest relationship. The principle is simple: all the pipes to visit us. That is, Turkey did not hesitate, supports the implementation of the competition us pipelines. Moscow does not like it, but we can not do anything.
— The only thing we can do is competently negotiate the division of the Caspian sea or even to postpone this section for an indefinite period. Because if the status of the Caspian sea will be established, this will allow Azerbaijan, Iran and Turkmenistan to build a TRANS-Caspian gas pipeline, gas from which will be happy to buy the Europeans to diversify the procurement of “blue fuel”.
I think that between President Putin and President Erdogan have tacit agreement on the type of business separately, the policy separately. That is our political disagreements on Syria won’t interfere with any of the “Turkish stream” or the construction of “Rosatom” a new nuclear power plant “Akkuyu” in Turkey or the purchase of Turkish tomatoes.
“SP”: — should the Caspian sea be divided and Caspian gas will come to Turkey and then to Europe, what risks it carries for us?
— The price is unlikely to affect. But the volume of sales of our gas can fall significantly. Since Europeans first thing will be to buy it alternative to Russian gas. I think that the Caspian sea may come to Europe 20-30 billion cubic meters of gas per year. This volume is about the Europeans can reduce purchases of Russian gas. So if Russia agree on partition of the Caspian sea, with the condition that the pipeline to Europe can be built only with the consent of all littoral States. Otherwise, we ourselves will create additional difficulties.