Turkish Stream, South Stream Costs Comparable, Energy Official Says
The cost of the future Turkish Stream gas pipeline project is comparable to the cost of the abandoned South Stream project, according to Gurkan Kumbaroglu, President-Elect of the International Association for Energy Economics (IAEE).
"We have not yet finished all the calculations. I think the cost is comparable to the cost of the South Stream project," Kumbaroglu said at the Valdai Club conference on European energy security in Berlin on Monday.
The cost of the South Stream project, designed to carry Russian natural gas under the Black Sea to Bulgaria and further west to Europe, was estimated at EUR 15.5 B.
Announcing the project’s suspension in December 2014, Russian gas giant Gazprom said it would build a pipeline from Russia under the Black Sea to Turkey instead that will be able to deliver gas to Europe via a distribution centre at Turkey’s border with Greece.
According to Kumbaroglu, the Turkish Stream is a more practical project compared to the concept of the South Stream project from an economic point of view.
"Turkish Stream is beneficial for all parties - the EU, Turkey, and Russia," Kumbaroglu said.
The so-called Valdai Club, named for the lake on the shores of which its first meeting was held, is a gathering of Western and Russian analysts, journalists and officials, some of whom are critical of the Kremlin.
IAEE is a United States-based worldwide non-profit professional organization.
Meanwhile, Russia's Ambassador to the EU, Vladimir Chizhov, said on the sidelines of the conference that the European Commission should have no formal reasons to object to the construction of Turkish Stream but is interested in maintaining the transit of Russian gas via Ukraine’s territory for political reasons.
“I hope the European Commission won’t politicize this subject and we could be able to cooperate on the project,” Chizhov said.
Speaking at the conference, Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller said the Russian company with work in compliance with the EU’s so-called Third Energy Package in building the infrastructure of Turkish Stream.
The regulation bans gas suppliers from owning the pipeline infrastructure, aiming to increase competitiveness. The European Commission cited Gazprom’s failure to comply with the regulation as a reason to object to the construction of South Stream on the territory of EU member Bulgaria.
"We’ll launch the [Turkish Stream] construction once we receive all permissions," Miller said, according to TASS.
He also said Gazprom has no need to discuss Turkish Stream’s leg under the Black Sea with its European partners.
Miller added the European infrastructure for accepting deliveries of Russian gas through Turkish Stream should be in place by 2019.
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