Expert: Russia not to abandon Turkish Stream gas pipeline
Moscow. Russia will not abandon the construction of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline, even if the South Stream project is revived, Deputy Executive Director for Energy Studies at Russian Institute for Energy and Finance Alexei Belogoryev told Trend June 22.
"Russia will not abandon the implementation of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline project because of not only economic, but also political obligations to Turkey," Belogoryev told Trend.
Earlier, Austrian media reported that the Russian Gazprom company and the Austrian OMV Group company are secretly discussing the possibility of reviving the South Stream project, which will pass through Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary and Austria.
Belogoryev added that at least first branch of the Turkish Stream pipeline, intended for the supply of Russian gas to Turkey, will be built.
“As for the construction of the second branch, there are still many issues related to ensuring the demand for this gas,” Belogoryev added.
The expert said that as only European countries may need the gas from the second branch of the Turkish Stream pipeline, it is necessary to build infrastructure for its further transportation, primarily in Greece as Italy is the main buyer.
"The way of resolving this issue is still unclear, but in general, it is the fact that Gazprom will not abandon the Turkish Stream project," he said.
The expert said that the transportation of gas to Europe via the South Stream pipeline would be economically more profitable for Gazprom.
Russia was forced to abandon the idea of building the South Stream gas pipeline at the end of 2014 because the European Commission refused from providing an exception from the Third Energy Package requirements for this project.
Later, a decision was made to replace this project with the Turkish Stream pipeline, which will pass through the territory of Turkey.
Russia and Turkey signed an intergovernmental agreement in October 2016 on the implementation of the Turkish Stream project.
The agreement envisages construction of two branches of the main gas pipeline through the Black Sea, the capacity of each branch being 15.75 billion cubic meters of gas.
One branch is meant to supply gas directly to the Turkish market and the other for the supply of gas by transit through Turkey to Europe. Initially, Russia and Turkey planned to build four branches of the pipeline. The construction of the offshore section of the Turkish Stream pipeline was launched in May 2017.