Turkstream in jeopardy after Turkey downs Russian warplane?
Turkstream, a pipeline designed to bring Russian gas to Turkey through the Black Sea, could be cancelled after Turkey on Tuesday shot down a Russian warplane.
Namely, following the downing of the Russian warplane, for which Turkey said it had breached Turkish airspace, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said important joint projects between two countries could be cancelled.
Medvedev accused Turkey of protecting the Islamic State (ISIS), alleging that “some Turkish officials” have financial interest “relating to the supply of oil products refined by plants controlled by ISIS.”
Medvedev said that Russia might ban Turkish companies from doing business in Russia. Medvedev also said Russia was considering scrapping “several important projects with Turkey.”
Damage difficult to repair
He said that “long-standing friendly relations between Russia and Turkey, including economic and cultural relations, have been undermined. This damage will be difficult to repair. The direct consequences are likely to be the renunciation of a number of important joint projects and the loss by Turkish companies of their positions in the Russian market. “
Turkish Stream, or Turkstream, operated by Gazprom, is one of the important projects Russia and Turkey have worked on, and according to media reports, the project could be in jeopardy now.
Turkey is Gazprom’s second largest sales market behind Germany. In 2014 Gazprom supplied Turkey with 27.4 billion cubic meters of natural gas.
Turkstream is planned to run across the Black Sea from the Russkaya CS near Anapa to Kiyikoy village in the European part of Turkey and further via Luleburgaz to Ipsala on the border between Turkey and Greece.
According to original plans, which have not been cancelled officially, 660 kilometers of the offshore pipeline route would be laid within the old corridor of South Stream and 250 kilometers – within a new corridor towards the European part of Turkey. The onshore gas pipeline section would stretch for 180 kilometers from the Black Sea coast of Turkey to the border between Turkey and Greece.
Data on Gazprom’s website shows that the annual gas pipeline capacity will total 63 billion cubic meters of gas. The offshore gas pipeline will consist of four strings with the capacity of 15.75 billion cubic meters each. Gas from the first string is intended exclusively for the Turkish market. The first string is forecast to be constructed by December 2016.
While the project is now engulfed in uncertainty, amid escalating tensions between the two countries, no official word, either from Gazprom, or the government sources has been issued on the Turkstream project specifically.
Offshore Energy Today has reached out to Gazprom, seeking comment on the allegations that the Turkstream project could be cancelled. We will update the article if we get a response.
This article has been amended to include a statement by Dmitry Medvedev, as published on the Russian Government’s official website
Offshore Energy Today Staff