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17.10.2016 12:04

Experts do not see Turkish stream as alternative to TANAP

The recent rapprochement between Russia and Turkey that revived the practically stalled cooperation between the countries put a number of questions in the spotlight.

One of the key questions is whether the resumed Turkish Stream may be a competitor for the Trans-Anatolian Gas Pipeline project, which is expected to serve as a new alternative for energy supplies to Europe.

Turkey and Russia this week signed an inter-governmental agreement on realizing the construction of the Turkish Stream, while the agreement served as an additional signal that the project could be brought into force.

The agreement envisages construction of two branches of the pipeline underthe Black Sea, with the capacity of each branch being 15.75 bcmof gas.

Senior associate at the Centre for European Security Strategies, Frank Umbach told Trend that in contrast to the original plan of the Turkish Stream with four pipelines and a total capacity of 63 billion cubic meters, implementation of only one or two pipelines appear realistic for the time being.

Being the second biggest consumer of Russian gas after Germany, Turkey currently imports gas from Russia via two pipelines - the Blue Stream, which passes under the eastern Black Sea, and the Western Line through the Balkans.

Turkish Stream envisages supplies of the Russian gas under the Black Sea (bypassing Ukraine) to Turkey and further to Europe.

The project is expected to end in the Ipsala district of Turkey (near the Greek border), while TANAP is also planned to end at this location and further connect with TAP.

Director at FTI Consulting EU Constantine Levoyannis talking to Trend however said that the possibility of supplies by the Turkish Stream is not high given the current state of relations between the EU and Russia.

The expert also said that Turkey is facing one of the worldwide highest energy demand growth in the mid- and long-term future, underlining that Russia supplied around 55 percent of Turkeys gas demand (27.4 bcm) in 2014.

He said that the construction of the first branch of the project, which is planned to meet gas demand of Turkey, should not cause any surprise as it has commercial importance. The construction of the second branch, however, may be considered as a political message to the EU. Levoyannis underlined that the Southern Gas Corridor remains a priority for the EU.

The European Commission has not yet totally refused the possibility of getting supplies from the Turkish Stream. ECs Vice President for Energy Union MoroshShefchovych, earlier said that the issue needs to be analyzed and much will depend on the level of gas demand and commercial reasonability.

Head of TANAP Saltuk Duzyol in an interview with TRT Haber said that Turkish Stream is not a rival to TANAP, underlining that the two contracts for gas transportation covering a period of 15 years may be assessed as a guarantee of TANAPs stable income.

Duzyol emphasized that Turkish Stream is unable to provide such benefits as TANAP, which opens up a new route for gas supply to Turkey and Europe and contributes to diversification of sources, adding that Turkey expects to receive the first gas via TANAP in the city of Eskisehir before June 2018.

Moreover, the consortium has already signed contracts worth more than $5 billion, with some $3 billion being spent for the construction.

Duzyol added that once TANAP is constructed, Azerbaijan will become the second supplier of gas to the Turkish market, leaving Iran behind.

TANAP project envisages transportation of gas from Azerbaijans Shah Deniz field to the western borders of Turkey. The length of TANAP is 1,800 kilometers with the initial capacity of 16 billion cubic meters. Around six bcmof this gas will be delivered to Turkey and the remaining volume will be supplied to Europe.

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