Turkish Stream Talks Reportedly Suspended, Delays Possible

SOFIA, July 31 (Novinite) – Russia and Turkey reportedly suspended negotiations on the construction of the Turkish Stream natural gas pipeline.

According to media reports, the negotiations were suspended after Russia failed to sign a key agreement on the discount of gas prices.

Back in February, Turkey obtained a 10.25 % discount on the 28-30 billion cubic meters of gas it purchases from Russia. However the final signature has been dragging for months, Hurriyet Daily informs.

Turkish officials added that another point of disagreement in the negotiations has been the insistence of Russia that Turkey should grant permits for the construction work on four planned lines in the project.

So far, Turkey has granted licences only for the first line. Gazprom, which is the Russian partner in the project, declined to comment. 

Earlier on Wednesday, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak hinted that the construction of an underwater pipeline to Turkey could be delayed if a a related intergovernmental agreement was not signed soon.

Turkish Stream, which was proposed as a substitute to the cancelled South Stream pipeline, is projected to supply natural gas from Russia to Turkey under the Black Sea.

The planned annual capacity of the pipeline is 63 billion cubic metres, with Turkey to take about 14 billion cubic metres, while the rest will be exported to Europe.

SOFIA, July 30 (Novinite) – Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak has said construction of the so-called Turkish Stream gas pipeline might begin later than planned.

There is a risk not to start building the pipeline’s first section on schedule the intergovernmental agreement is not signed in time, Novak is quoted by RIA Novosti as saying.

Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller had earlier explained that part of Turkish stream might become operational by December 2016, and his deputy Alexander Medvedev had added in April that the fourth (and last) section of the pipeline will be up and running by 2020.

This comes just a day after reports from Energy Ministry sources who say Moscow had sent to Ankara a document offering only an agreement on the first line of Turkish Stream. Apparently Novak did not comment on the claims. 

Construction of Turkish Stream from the Russian side was officially announced in May, this being the first time Gazprom is embarking on implementing such a project without an intergovernmental agreement and other documents needed. Technically building the pipeline could begin either in June or July, Novak had pointed out last month.

Turkish Stream was announced last year as a substitute to South Stream, a project which was designed to carry gas to Europe via Bulgaria and other Eastern European states but which was ditched by Russia over Sofia’s reluctance to issue construction permits.

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