TurkStream Lines Filled Offshore: Gazprom
The line pack of the two parallel offshore sections of the TurkStream pipeline has been completed and both are now filled with gas as far as the Kiyikoy receiving terminal on Turkey's European Black Sea coast, Gazprom announced November 20.
Gazprom confirmed also that work on the receiving terminal is nearing completion, and that the commissioning of the overland sections of the two lines inside Turkey should take place on schedule before the end of this year, but did not give a precise date.
The company also confirmed that the on land section of the line inside Russia and the Russkaya compressor station are completed and ready for operation.
Turkish energy minister Fatih Donmez confirmed November 16 that barring any major "mishaps", "god willing", construction work on the overland sections of both strings would be completed by the end of the year. He confirmed that as previously announced, the 15.75bn m³/yr capacity first string which connects to Turkey's own gas transmission grid at Lüleburgaz will be operational by the end of the year, as planned.
It is still unclear when the second string, which passes to the Bulgarian border where it will be connected to existing gas transit infrastructure, will come into operation and to what extent to would be able to meet demand from countries supplied by existing Russian gas export line through Ukraine, for which the transit agreement between Moscow and Kiev expires on December 31.
The second string of TurkStream was designed specifically to enable Gazprom to by-pass Ukraine, and supply existing customers in south east and central Europe via Turkey. Talks between Russia Ukraine and the EU on extending the deadline have yet to produce an agreement.
Gazprom said November 18 it had proposed a one year gas transit deal to Ukraine, however this was subsequently rejected by Kiev as "unacceptable". Ukraine won the arbitration case against Russia in early 2018 but Gazprom is refusing to accept this and has not paid the $2.6bn (plus interest). It wants Ukraine to drop the award as part of the transit settlement.