Gazprom Halves Turkey Gas Link Project Capacity as Talks Stalled

  • Lowering of proposed capacity comes after Nord Stream deal
  • Talks with Turkey stalled over price as elections loom

Gazprom PJSC, the world’s largest natural gas supplier, cut the size of a proposed link to Turkey that bypasses Ukraine by 50 percent.

A “realistic” annual capacity for the pipeline known as Turkish Stream is now seen as 32 billion cubic meters (1.1 trillion cubic feet), Gazprom Chief Executive Officer Alexey Miller said Tuesday at a gas forum in St. Petersburg, Russia. That volume, equivalent to about two-thirds of Turkey’s gas use last year, will be the target for further talks between the two nations after Russia and European companies last month agreed to double the capacity of a pipeline in northern Europe, he said.

Russia planned earlier to deliver as much as 63 billion cubic meters of gas a year to Turkey and southeastern Europe, or more than a third of its fuel exports to the EU, as part of its plans to stop shipping gas through Ukraine from 2020 amid a conflict with the former Soviet ally. Russian President Vladimir Putin said last year Turkey and Greece would become new gas centers for southern Europe once the link under the Black Sea was built.

Talks on the pipeline stalled over the summer as the parties failed to agree on gas prices and as Turkey failed to form a government after June elections. Russia in the meantime signed an agreement with five European companies to increase the capacity of the Nord Stream pipeline from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea to 110 billion cubic meters per year from as early as 2019.

Russia and Turkey are also at odds over Putin’s decision to start air strikes in Syria, which Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday said was a “grave mistake.” Turkey holds new parliamentary elections Nov. 1.

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