BOFIT Viikkokatsaus / BOFIT Weekly 2018/47

The new Black Sea gas pipeline Turkish Stream (TurkStream) runs under the sea bottom from Krasnodar to west of Istanbul. On Sunday (Nov. 19), presidents Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan met in Istanbul to celebrate the completion of TurkStream’s off-shore section. Construction continues on the Turkish side, with pipeline commissioning now expected in late 2019.

Turkey annually purchases roughly 30 billion m3 of natural gas from Gazprom. About half of that is currently supplied directly to Turkey via the Blue Stream pipeline. The rest is supplied by pipelines that cross Ukraine, Romania and Bulgaria. In its initial phase of operation, TurkStream will have an annual capacity of 17 billion m3.

Gazprom is currently constructing two other major pipelines for gas exports: the eastern leg of the Power of Siberia pipeline and Nord Stream 2, which parallels its predecessor under the Baltic Sea. The go-ahead decision on construction of the Power of Siberia, which encompasses approximately 3,000 km of pipeline, was made in 2014. Completion of the pipeline is expected late next year. Gas supplies to China should begin flowing in 2020. The new pipeline, with a transmission capacity of 38 billion m3 a year, opens the Chinese market for Russian gas.

Nord Stream 2 will double the current Nord Stream transmission capacity of 55 billion m3 a year. Laying of pipe along the Baltic seabed commenced in September. Commissioning is planned for late 2019. The simultaneous completion of these three pipelines would enable a significant shift of Russian gas export routes during 2020.