10 Oct 2016 in Istanbul the governments of the Russian Federation and Turkey signed an agreement on the project “Turkish stream.” This agreement provides for the creation of pipeline that will pass under the Black sea and Turkey to its borders with Greece.
The idea of this pipeline came at the end of 2014, when Russia decided to abandon plans for the construction of the “South stream”. Initially it was assumed that the “Turkish stream” will include four sections of pipelines to Turkey and other countries of South-Eastern Europe with a total capacity of 63 billion m3 of gas per year. However, after the conflict over the violation of Turkish airspace by Russian aircraft, all work on the project was stopped. But now, by signing of the agreement parties made a new step to the creation of this pipeline. Gazprom has announced that the construction of “Turkish stream” will begin in 2018 and will be completed by the end of 2019. However, at the moment we are talking about laying of two pipelines only, with a capacity of 15.75 billion m3 of gas per year each. One of them will be designed exclusively for consumers in Turkey.
According to Russian media, the “Turkish stream” is a very important project for Gazprom and Russia. The creation of this pipeline will reduce dependence on the Ukrainian gas transportation system (GTS), which will lose at least 15 billion m3 of gas transit per year from commissioning of the “Turkish stream” . In the future Russia, due to such project, will be able to abandon the Ukrainian gas transportation system completely. It also can fail because of underfunding already in 2020 . In addition, the new pipeline will allow Gazprom to compete in the region with Iran, Iraq, Turkmenistan. Analysts also noted that the new agreement between Russia and Turkey will give them a huge impact on the European Union and may affect the geopolitical situation in the region. However, it is worth to note the fact that the construction of “Turkish stream” also bears the risk of financial losses for Gazprom. The fact is that the company takes on the construction of the offshore section of the pipeline and discounted gas, which Turkey will receive in exchange for agreeing to participate in the project.