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Russia’s Gazprom said on Wednesday that it had received—via diplomatic channels—the first permit from Turkish authorities for the construction of the offshore leg of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline in a sign that Russia and Turkey are definitely re-launching the project.
“I would like to commend our Turkish partners for being so prompt and cooperative at the first stage of the TurkStream project,” Alexey Miller, Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee, said in the company statement.
A few weeks after the attempted coup against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Gazprom’s deputy chairman Alexander Medvedev said the Russian giant was ready to resume talks with Turkey to revive the project, and expected Turkey’s next move.
Gazprom and Turkish company Botas had agreed in December 2014 to pursue the Turkish Stream project, which was estimated to have an annual capacity of 63 billion cubic meters of gas. The parties planned the first pipeline string to be used exclusively to supply the Turkish market.
However, the project was suspended in 2015 as the relations between Russia and Turkey soured following Ankara’s shooting down of a Russian military jet in November of that year. But the Turkish Stream project was back on the agenda after Turkey apologized for the incident.
A couple of weeks ago, Gazprom officials arrived in Ankara to discuss the Turkish Stream project. Now that Turkey has apologized, the two countries are back together in the international energy game.
With Russia and Turkey acting in concert, Europe will have little left to do but to continue to depend on energy coming from countries it doesn’t really like and cannot really influence in a favorable direction. Russia has the oil and the gas, and Turkey has the pipelines and the Bosphorus, where 3 percent of global oil exports pass every day.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.