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."

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