Gazprom: Offshore construction of TurkStream pipeline starts

Russian gas company Gazprom began construction of the TurkStream gas pipeline in the Black Sea near the Russian coast on May 7, 2017.

Gazprom said on Sunday that the pipelaying work was being carried out by the Audacia vessel. The vessel is owned by Allseas, the construction contractor for both strings of the gas pipeline’s offshore section.

Allseas was awarded a contract to lay the first line of the TurkStream offshore gas pipeline in the Black Sea, back in December.

Gazprom awarded a contract to build the second string of the Turkstream gas pipeline’s offshore section to the same company in February 2017. The agreement was signed as part of the option included in the construction contract for the pipeline’s first string. Each string of TurkStream will have the throughput capacity of 15.75 billion cubic meters of gas per year.

The Audacia vessel will also be used for pipe pulling through microtunnels while construction work for the TurkStream gas pipeline in deepwater area would be performed by the world’s largest pipelay and construction vessel Pioneering Spirit.

Alexey Miller, chairman of the Gazprom management committee, said: “Today, we started the practical implementation of the TurkStream gas pipeline project: pipe-laying within the offshore section. By late 2019, our Turkish and European consumers will have a new, reliable source of Russian gas imports.”

To remind, Russia’s and Turkey’s energy ministers signed an agreement to go ahead with construction of the pipeline back in October 2016.

This marked the resumption of works on the TurkStream pipeline project which was suspended after Turkey shot down a Russian warplane in 2015. Turkey then said the warplane had violated its airspace. The incident had led to the cooling of relations between the two countries. Currently, tensions between the two countries have eased off.