June 22, 2015
Translated from Russian by J.Hawk
The Russo-Turkish gas pipeline project has begun. Turkish authorities permitted Gazprom to perform design surveys in Turkey’s exclusive economic zone and territorial waters. The news was announced by Gazprom.
Turkey also confirmed that the results of environmental impact assessments performed for the Turkish leg of South Stream can be used when building Turkish Stream. The pipe-layer Saipem 7000, rented by Gazprom to build the sea pipeline, is now in the Black Sea after a six-month stay at Burgas, according to the global ship positioning system.
These news mark the beginning of Turkish Stream project, said Ivan Kapitonov of the Russian Presidential Academy of the National Economy. He also reminded that just recently Gazprom reached an agreement with its Western partners to double the North Stream throughput. “It may be that’s what stimulated our Turkish partners to start survey work in the Black Sea. They sense competition.”
The sea component of Turkish Stream will consist of four lines with throughput of 15.75 billion cubic feet each. The pipeline will cover 660 km of the former South Stream and 250km in a new corridor toward the European part of Turkey. It is believed that gas supplies through the first line will be wholly dedicated to satisfying Turkey’s growing demand for natural gas.
J.Hawk’s Comment: Between North Stream and the Turkish Stream, it’s becoming clear enough that the EU doesn’t want to depend on the Ukrainian pipeline. It also doesn’t desire to be potentially held hostage by Kiev, whose control of the pipe is about the main source of its influence on Brussels. But once Kiev loses that leverage, it naturally has to gravitate closer to Moscow. It’s a bit like watching paint dry, but it’s becoming clearer by the day that the alarmist scenarios of NATO involvement, Ukrainian disarmament, and all manner of other plagues and cataclysms, are not coming to pass. EU burned its fingers on Ukraine, so now it is looking for a face-saving way back to how things used to be.