Russia not to give up interests in Turkish Stream

Russia will not abandon the Turkish Stream gas pipeline, even if the South Stream project is revived, Deputy Director for energy of the Russian Institute of Energy and Finance Alexei Belogoryev said.

“Russia will not give up the realization of Turkish Stream due to its obligations to Turkey, not only economic, but also political,” he told Trend.

Previously, Austrian media reported that Russia’s Gazprom and Austrian OMV are in secrecy discussing the possibility of reviving the South Stream project, which will pass through Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary and Austria.

At least the first branch of the Turkish Stream, intended for the supply of Russian gas to Turkey, will be built, according to Belogoryev.

As for the construction of the second branch of the pipeline, there are still many questions related to ensuring the demand for this gas, he added.

Since gas from the second branch of Turkish Stream can only be used by European countries, it is necessary to build an infrastructure for its further transportation, primarily in Greece’s territory, as Italy is expected to become the main buyer.

“It’s not clear how this issue will be resolved, but in general, Gazprom will not give up Turkish Stream and this is a fact,” Belogoryev said.

He stressed that the gas transportation to Europe via the South Stream would be economically more profitable for Gazprom.

Meanwhile, Deputy Chairman of the Gazprom Board of Directors Andrei Kruglov said that investments in the Turkish Stream gas pipeline project is approximately $6 billion, while the project can be realized only at the expense of Gazprom.

“The amount of planned investments in the Turkish Stream project is about $6 billion. As for project financing, we said that such an opportunity exists for financing the offshore part of Turkish Stream. Nevertheless, we planned that Turkish Stream can be implemented only at the expense of Gazprom,” Kruglov said at a press conference on June 11.

Gazprom abandoned South Stream in late 2014 because the European Commission did not grant exemptions from the Third Energy Package, which, in particular, says that one gas provider should use no more than 50 percent of the pipeline capacity, and the remaining capacity should be put up for auction.

Later, the project was replaced by Turkish Stream, which will pass through Turkey. Turkish Stream gas pipeline was announced in December 2014. The intergovernmental agreement on the Turkish Stream project between Russia and Turkey was signed in October 2016.

The document envisages the construction of two branches of the main gas pipeline along the bottom of the Black Sea with a capacity of 15.75 billion cubic meters of gas each. One branch is envisaged for the supply of gas directly to the Turkish market, the other for supplying gas through Turkey to European countries. Initially, it was planned to build four branches of the pipeline. Gazprom started construction of the offshore section of Turkish Stream in May 2017.