No Talks Yet On Gas Hub At Border with Bulgaria, Turkey’s Ambassador Says   

Energy | December 18, 2014, Thursday // 22:33|  views

Turkey's Ambassador to Bulgaria Suleyman Gokce. Photo by BGNES

No discussions have been held with Turkey about the potential construction of a gas distribution hub on its border with Bulgaria, Turkey’s Ambassador in Sofia Suleyman Gokce said on Thursday.

In an interview with Bulgaria On Air TV station Gokce was asked whether a gas hub could be built on Turkey’s border with Bulgaria for possible distribution of Russian gas to Europe under Russia’s plan to build a pipeline to Turkey across the Black Sea to replace the cancelled South Stream project that would have had EU member Bulgaria as entry point for deliveries.

“The answer to this will be found through negotiations,” Gokce said, speaking through an interpreter. “These statements are still at political level. Where the hub will be located is yet to be decided.”

Unveiling the plan to build a pipeline to Turkey earlier this month, the head of Russian gas giant Gazprom Alexey Miller said the proposed facility would be able to carry 63 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas per year to Turkey. According to Miller, Turkey will receive 14 bcm, while the remainder could be delivered for transit to Europe via a distribution hub near the country’s border with EU member Greece.

Whether a gas distribution facility will be built on Turkey's border with Greece, however, is not up to Russia to decide but to the EU, the Russian President Vladimir Putin said aduring his end-of-year news conference in Moscow on Thursday.

Putin also said Russia will increase energy supplies to Turkey via the existing Blue Stream pipeline.

The full capacity of Blue Stream is 16 bcm of gas per year. As of March 11, 2014 the amount of gas supplied (since February 2003) via Blue Stream totalled 100 bcm, according to Gazprom data.

Turkey is Gazprom’s second-largest market in Europe with the company supplying 26.7 bcm last year, including 13.7 bcm via Blue Stream.

With Turkey’s gas consumption rising by 5% a year, the full capacity of Blue Stream will be reached in five to six years, Gokce said.

According to Gokce, it would take about a year to build a gas interconnector linking Turkey and Bulgaria.

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Tags: turkey, Bulgaria, South stream, gas, interconnector, Gokce, Russia, Putin


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