Russian gas giant Gazprom will have to take a rain check on its initial plan to start up the Turkish Stream gas pipeline at the end of 2016 due to current political situation in Turkey.
In December 2014, Gazprom and Turkey signed a memorandum of understanding for the construction of Turkish Stream which is to replace the South Stream project to deliver Russian gas to Southern Europe.
In May this year, Gazprom announced an agreement with Turkey to bring onstream Turkish Stream and to start gas supplies in December 2016. An intergovernmental deal on the pipeline was expected to be signed following the establishment of the new Turkish government in November.
However, in a press conference given today, Alexander Medvedev, Gazprom’s Deputy Chairman of Management Committee, said that the projected opening for TurkStream in late 2016 has been postponed to a later date due to the political crisis in Turkey.
Furthermore, in an email statement for Subsea World News, TurkStream spokesperson said: “We aim to start pipe laying shortly after Turkey and Russia have finalized the Intergovernmental Agreement on the Project. As stated by Alexander Medvedev there is currently no Turkish government in place to facilitate this process and therefore completion of the first line could indeed go beyond 2016.”
Medvedev was additionally quoted saying: “Due to the fact that the installation did not begin as planned, we are no longer speaking of December 2016.”
To remind, Gazprom has through its South Stream Transport BV, terminated Saipem’s contract for the construction of the first line of the offshore section of the pipeline, signed in the framework of the project South Stream in 2014 and is yet to announce a new contractor for the project.
As earlier announced, the offshore section of Turkish Stream was planned to consist of four strings, each with a throughput capacity of 15.75 billion cubic meters. The gas pipeline will stretch for 660 kilometers within the existing corridor of South Stream and for 250 kilometers within a new corridor towards the European part of Turkey.
Subsea World News; Image: Gazprom