Turkey shielded from gas crisis due to TurkStream pipeline: Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that Turkey is shielded from a gas crisis that has gripped Europe, thanks to the TurkStream gas pipeline.

Speaking at the start of talks with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi, Putin also thanked the Turkish president for his support of the pipeline, which stretches from Russia to Turkey across the Black Sea.

“And now, when we see quite difficult, turbulent processes on the European gas market, Turkey is feeling absolutely confident and stable,” Putin said in comments on TurkStream.

The onland parts of the link stretch further to southern Europe and are part of Moscow’s plans to bypass its political foe, Ukraine, in exporting gas to lucrative European markets.

The TurkStream, with an annual capacity of 31.5 billion cubic meters, was commissioned in early 2020.

Russian gas producer Gazprom last week said the pipeline delivered 20.3 bcm of gas to Turkey from Jan. 1 through Sept. 19, a record high.

“This is an all-time high amount of gas for this period and an increase of 153% (or 12.3 bcm) against 2020 (8 bcm),” it added.

The pipeline consists of two 930-kilometer (577.88-mile) offshore lines, and two separate onshore lines that are 142 and 70 kilometers long. The first line with a capacity of 15.75 bcm is designated for supplies to Turkey’s domestic customers, while the second carries Russian gas further to Europe through Bulgaria.

Nord Stream 2, a Russian-led subsea gas pipeline that crosses the Baltic Sea to Germany, was recently completed and is awaiting operating approval from German regulators.

Benchmark European gas prices at the Dutch TTF hub have increased more than fourfold since January due to low gas storage stocks, high European Union carbon prices, low liquefied natural gas (LNG) tanker deliveries and lower than expected Russian supplies.

These are pushing up winter fuel bills, and exacerbating a near-term spike in inflation in another blow to the world economy as it recovers from the coronavirus crisis. Analysts expect prices to remain elevated until 2022 or even 2023.


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