Putin beat both Baku and Brussels ("Haqqin.az", Azerbaijan)
Gazprom made an unexpected statement: gas in the amount of 15.75 billion cubic meters per year for the first line of a new gas pipeline to Turkey will be completely sent to the Turkish market by the end of 2016. The surprise is related to the fact that so far it was believed that the “Turkish stream” with a capacity of 63 billion cubic meters of gas is a complex project that requires a lot of approvals, including political ones, not to mention technical calculations. Yes, and its construction involves a lot of time and effort.
But Gazprom has deceived all expectations. During the meeting in Ankara, the head of Gazprom Alexei Miller and the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources of Turkey Taner Yildiz reached an agreement on the division of the “Turkish Stream” into four threads. And the first line with a capacity of 15.75 billion cubic meters of gas per year will come to Turkey in December 2016.
The gas pipeline will pass 660 km in the old corridor of the South Stream and 250 km in the new corridor in the direction of the European part of Turkey.Gazprom will carry out the offshore part of the project independently, and build capacities in Turkey by uniting with local companies. The shares of participation of the parties in the project have not yet been determined. Botas has been appointed as the authorized company from the Turkish side. Now we have to analyze the options for the route through Turkey, determine the point of exit from the sea, the point of delivery of gas for Turkish consumers and the point of intersection of the Turkish-Greek border.
The parties agreed to sign an intergovernmental agreement on the gas pipeline in the second quarter of this year, and deliver the first gas to Turkey in December 2016. And Miller considers this period to be quite realistic. At the same time, the capacity of the first gas pipeline, 15.75 billion cubic meters, will be completely directed to the Turkish market.
Thus, Russian gas will enter the Turkish market a year earlier than Azerbaijani, although until now it was considered impossible. The first thread of the “Turkish Stream”, which requires only a bilateral agreement between Moscow and Ankara, can already be said. Only technical issues remain, for the solution of which Gazprom will stop at nothing.
Essentially, Ankara in this case set up Azerbaijan. Now the secret meaning of Taner Yildiz’s statement that after determining the route of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline between him and the Trans-Anatolian Gas Pipeline Project (TANAP), healthy competition has become clear. But earlier Yildiz claimed that the “Turkish Stream” would not become a competitor of TANAP.
Yes, Putin’s December announcement that the South Stream is closing and now Russia intends to deliver gas to Europe via Turkey and sell in a gas hub on the border of Turkey and Greece “has had the effect of a bombshell.” Initially, the Turkish reaction was rather calm - she signed a protocol of intent, she can do it, but there are difficulties with competing projects. Russia prices slightly slowed down, but it is not known how Brussels and Washington will react to this. On the other hand, relations between Turkey and Russia are not limited to a gas deal. This is part of a package deal - in the defense field, construction, and other industries. Energy is part of it. And Turkey has big ambitions, it wants to be not a transit country, but a hub for sale.
At the same time, judging by the calm reaction of Baku, this question was not so unexpected for him. Apparently, the parties discussed this in the framework of the recent visit of President Ilham Aliyev to Turkey. Moreover, according to the chairman of the International Energy Economic Association Gurkan Kumbaroglu, Azerbaijan and Turkey plan to create a powerful energy union. And this energy union, which will unite 18 countries, will be headed by Azerbaijan and Turkey.
But in any case, Russia, if nothing unexpected happens, today has outplayed all sides of the Azerbaijani gas project, including the European Union. As long as Azerbaijani gas enters Turkey, the market of this country will receive about 35 billion cubic meters of Russian gas that has entered the seabed of the Black Sea. And it is unlikely then Turkey will need several billion cubic meters of Azerbaijani gas, which by obligations should be transferred to the Turkish side. And if Gazprom at the same pace achieves the construction of a hub on the Turkish-Greek border, then Russian gas will be able to flow into Europe before Azerbaijan. And the first supplier has always more chances.
PS: It remains only to add that the Greek younger son - Ernesto. In honor of the great Che.