Turkish public support for TurkStream rises to 75 pct

Poll shows contribution to energy supply security and expansion of natural gas are used as reasons for TurkStream support

Turkish public support for the TurkStream natural gas pipeline project rose to 75 percent in 2017 compared to 56 percent in 2015, according to new polls conducted by an independent firm.

According to StratejiCo — an independent corporate and public affairs consultancy firm — the poll results demonstrated the Turkish public’s belief that the TurkStream project would benefit the country.

The TurkStream is a transit-free export gas pipeline, which will not only stretch across the Black Sea from Russia to Turkey but will further extend to Turkey’s border with neighboring countries.

One line is expected to supply the Turkish market, while a second line will carry gas to southern and southeastern Europe. Each line will have the throughput capacity of 15.75 billion cubic meters of gas per year.

The pipeline will start from the southern Russian town of Anapa on the Black Sea coast and will be laid on a 900-kilometer route under the Black Sea to reach the Thrace region of Turkey along the Black Sea coast.

The poll, conducted via telephone interviews with 2.4 thousand participants, showed that 68 percent of the local community in Turkish northwestern cities, Tekirdag, Edirne and Kirklareli, approved the project.

The contribution to Turkey’s energy supply security, the opportunities to expand the use of natural gas as an energy source along with other economic advantages were stated as the main reasons for the support detailed in the poll results, the firm said.

Additionally, the Turkish community’s endorsement for the use of natural gas also increased, the firm said, adding that while this support was 57 percent back in 2015, the current support jumped to 87 percent.

This increased backing was also reflected in the construction of new pipelines in the country, according to the firm.

“Today [in 2017], 85 percent of both general and regional public opinion is positive about such projects,” it noted.

“When looking at regional developments the first line of the TurkStream project, which will directly carry gas to Turkey and decrease the risks of transit gas, will play a key role in Turkey’s energy security. Therefore, these results are very important,” Mehmet Ogutcu, chairman of the Bosphorus Energy Club, was quoted as saying.

The first line of Turkish Stream will provide gas solely for Turkey’s domestic market, but the Russian giant plans to feed volumes from a second line into western Europe.

Analysts say the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) will be Gazprom’s likely choice – once its capacity is expanded after the completion of the first 10 billion cubic metre per year phase. However, as the past few days have shown, Gazprom may yet spring a surprise.