Construction work has officially started on the offshore tract of the TurkStream gas pipeline, intended to link Russia and Turkey in order to delivery Russian gas to the European Union, circumventing EU unbundling rules (that would require the separation of energy production and distribution) and avoiding transit through Ukraine.
Russian energy giant Gazprom has entrusted contractor Allseas with the project’s execution. The international leader in submarine construction will employ the pipe-layer Audacia to install the pipeline along the bottom of the Black Sea. “Today, we started the practical implementation of the TurkStream gas pipeline project: pipe-laying within the offshore section. By late 2019, our Turkish and European consumers will have a new, reliable source of Russian gas imports,” said Alexey Miller, chairman of the Gazprom management committee and in charge of that company’s energy infrastructure development through his position on the board of the wholly Gazprom-controlled South Stream Transport B.V. The first section of TurkStream will deliver Russia gas to Turkey by crossing a portion of the Black Sea, while the second section will continue on from Turkey to other countries in southern and eastern Europe. Both sections will have a transport capacity of 15.75 billion cubic meters of gas per year.