Thursday, January 9, 2020

TurkStream: Turkeys role as gas transit hub

With the TurkStream pipeline under construction Turkey is about to gain a pivotal role in the gas import of the EU.

TurkStream's pathway begins in russian Anapa on the Black Sea coast to the thrace part of Turkey and then moving through Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary to the Baumgarten gas hub in Austria.

This pipeline will yet again raise the import of natural gas from russian sources  - under circumvention of countries like Ukraine -  while it increases the dependency of Turkey from russian imports as well.

German newspaper "Welt" writes:

"Half of the total capacity of the pipeline, 15.75 million cubic meters per year, is destined for transit to Europe. 
In the medium term, the pipeline is to bring Russian gas to Austria via Bulgaria, Serbia and Hungary, to the largest European natural gas hub in Baumgarten on the Slovakian border. The new pipeline from the Turkish territory through Bulgaria and Serbia has already been completed. 
Contrary to the EU goal of diversifying gas imports and increasing energy security - for example by promoting liquefied petroleum gas imports and the requirements for decoupling production and pipeline ownership - the countries of Southeast Europe are even further expanding their dependence on Russia with TurkStream. 
Putin lures the countries with transit fees and flatters their regional ambitions. For example, in the case of Bulgaria, which wants to establish itself as an important natural gas hub for the Balkans, but has so far only imported Russian gas. 
At the same time, TurkStream is a competition project for the EU-partially financed Southern Gas Corridor, which is to bring ten billion cubic meters of gas annually to the EU via the Transanatolian Pipeline (TANAP) from Azerbaijani offshore fields in the Caspian Sea. 
While Bulgaria's dream of the "Balkan Gas Hub" can still fail due to EU regulations, Turkey has established itself with TurkStream as an energy hub - this has long been Erdogan's plan. 
"Turkey is striving to become an energy hub where buyers and sellers meet and where prices are set," said the Turkish energy minister Fatih Dönmez in November 2018. 
For this, Erdogan even appears to be ready to increase its own energy dependency on Russia. Turkey has virtually no gas reserves of its own and is dependent on imports. Therefore, just like Europe, the country had tried in the past to diversify its own energy supply and to make itself less dependent on Russia."

EastMed: a pipeline from Israel to Italy

On Thursday January 2nd 2020, Greece, Cyprus and Israel signed an agreement to build the EastMed pipeline to transport natural gas from the Leviathan field via Cyprus and Crete to mainland Greece and on to Italy. Cypriot gas fields are also to be connected.

The construction of the more than 1,800 km long tube is being supported by the EU, which gave the project the privileged status of "Project of Common Interest".

However this project means a turning away from the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF) that involved Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Cyprus, Italy and members of the Palestinian National Authority. 

Also turkish president Erdogang wants to have his say since Turkey stakes out claims on part in Cyprus.

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:

Finland diversifies gas import, disengages from Gazprom

The russian department of german international broadcaster Deutsche Welle announced that Finland is going to import gas from Estonia now:

"The Russian company Gazprom Export, a subsidiary of the Gazprom corporation, has ceased to be the only gas supplier to Finland. As AFP reported on Saturday, January 4, citing the Estonian national electricity operator Elering AS, the bi-directional Balticconnector gas pipeline between Inkoo municipality in southern Finland and Paldiski in northern Estonia was commissioned on January 1. It will allow delivering gas to Latvia via Latvia from Estonia, received, in particular, from Norway."

You can read the rest of the piece using a translator via this link.