Gazprom Says Will Build Only Russia-Turkey Leg of Turkish Stream
Gazprom deputy head Alexander Medvedev has said the Turkish Stream project will initially be carried out only as a pipeline between Russia and Turkey.
This means only the first of four parallel lines that had been planned earlier will be constructed as a start, but it does not mean the energy giant has abandoned the idea to make deliveries to Russia, Medvedev has made clear.
"We agreed with the Turkish partners that first we will work on pipe No 1, and then we will look to the others," Interfax quotes him as saying.
"But if someone thinks Turkey renounced the second and the third pipe, this is not true."
In Medvedev's words, the key issue in determining how many pipes will be built is what supplies Europe will demand.
The announcement comes after months of uncertainty as to whether Ankara and Moscow will be able to reach a deal on Turkish Stream.
The latter project started as a substitute to South Stream, a pipeline which was designed to deliver some 63 bcm of Russian gas to Southeastern and Central Europe via Bulgaria but whose construction was abandoned by Russia after Sofia refused to issue building permits.
Turkish Stream was initially planned to transport the same amounts of gas, also using the Black Sea bed (and partly the route of South Stream), to Turkey and possibly to European states.
Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak had repeatedly called on EU member states to prepare for a shift in gas transit which would eventually replace Ukraine with Turkey as a key supply hub.
Most EU countries (except for Greece, Austria and Hungary), however, have not yet expressed firm interest in deliveries via Turkish Stream.
Judging by Medvedev's words it's not yet clear whether a leg will be built from Kayikkoy (the landfall) in Turkey to Ipsala near the Turkey-Greece border - a development that could potentially allow Greece to receive Russian gas via this infrastructure.
Over the past months, however, reports emerged from both Ankara and Moscow sources of a pricing dispute related to Russian gas sold to Turkey which could put Turkish Stream into question.
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