On January 8, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan hosted Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin and inaugurated a new gas pipeline – TurkStream, with tensions in Libya and Syria also on the agenda.
Putin will seek to boost his credentials as a regional powerbroker with the symbolic opening of the TurkStream pipeline, which brings Russian gas to Turkey and southern Europe via the Black Sea.
TurkStream and the Nord Stream pipelines under the Baltic allow Russia to increase gas supplies to Europe without having to rely on Ukraine.
The TurkStream project, which was temporarily halted during a frosty patch in Russia-Turkey relations, includes two parallel pipelines of more than 900 kilometers (550 miles).
The pipeline links Anapa in Russia to Kiyikoy in northwestern Turkey and has already begun deliveries to Bulgaria. It is being extended toward Serbia, Hungary and Austria.
“We will be indispensable in international markets with natural gas pipelines coming from both the east and north,” Turkey’s Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Fatih Dönmez said.
Referring to the inauguration of the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline’s (TANAP) Europe link on Nov. 30, 2019 Dönmez mentioned: “When the TANAP was first signed, people said that the project was a dream. And now, we are concluding another giant project after TANAP. While TurkStream and TANAP will ensure that our nation uses natural gas without any problems, we will also play a key role in ensuring the security of Europe’s natural gas supply.”
The Nord Stream project, operational since 2011 with an annual capacity of 55 billion cubic meters, brings Russian gas directly to Germany via the Baltic Sea.
The Nord Stream 2, spearheaded by Russia’s state-owned energy company Gazprom, is nearly completed and has the same annual capacity, running almost parallel to the first pipeline route.
Together they will meet the annual gas demands of a quarter of the European continent.
The TurkStream natural gas pipeline has a total capacity of 31.5 billion cubic meters, out of which the first line will carry a capacity of 15.75 billion cubic meters of Russian gas to Turkish consumers. The second line will carry another 15.75 billion cubic meters of gas to Europe via Turkey.