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ISTANBUL, December 3 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia and Turkey may expand the Blue Stream gas pipeline and extend it to third countries, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.
“Blue Stream means 16 billion [cubic metres of gas] which we supply by this pipeline system to Turkey. I do not rule out that we can come to agreement with our Turkish friends to expand Blue Stream’s capacities and bring it to third countries,” Putin said after talks with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday, December 3.
“Turkey is becoming some kind of energy hub in Europe, but a key priority for us is diversification of routes for transporting our resources to the main markets,” he said.
Putin recalled that Russia has completed building the Nord Stream pipeline and would soon start building South Stream.
According to Energy Minister Alexander Novak, Turkey has already requested an additional supply of 3 billion cubic metres of gas.
The two countries are now exploring the possibility of both expanding Blue Stream and using South Stream for that purpose.
The Blue Stream gas pipeline is designed to deliver Russian natural gas to Turkey across the Black Sea bypassing third countries. Blue Stream supplements the gas transmission corridor running from Russia to Turkey via Ukraine, Moldova, Romania and Bulgaria.
Blue Stream has considerably enhanced reliability of gas supply to Turkey and facilitates the gas market and infrastructure development in the country.
Blue Stream is a unique gas transmission facility unparalleled in the world. Having constructed the pipeline, Gazprom turned a new page in the history of cutting-edge gas transmission technologies.
The Blue Stream total length amounts to 1,213 kilometres.
Specific engineering solutions were applied during the pipeline construction in order to enhance its reliability as the Russian mountainous section is over 60 kilometers long and the offshore section runs at depths of up to 2,150 metrEs in an aggressive hydrogen sulphide environment. For instance, these solutions include high-grade corrosion-resistant steel pipes with internal and external polymer coatings, pipeline stress testing, intellectual cut-ins at the mountainous and offshore sections, etc.
For the first time ever in the Russian petroleum sector tunnels were built at the mountainous section of the gas pipeline under the Kobyla and Bezymyanny Ridges. The total length of the tunnels was 3,260 metrEs.
In parallel with the gas pipeline construction environmental measures were taken, such as land reclamation along the whole pipeline route and preservation of more than 4 hectares of relic woods when crossing the Kobyla and Bezymyanny Ridges with the tunnels.
On December 15, 1997 Russia and Turkey signed an intergovernmental agreement. Under the agreement Gazprom and Turkish Botas inked the contract stipulating that 365 billion cubic meters of gas would be supplied to Turkey via Blue Stream during 25 years.
In February, 1999 Gazprom and Italian Eni signed the memorandum of understanding on joint implementation of the Blue Stream project.
On November 16, 1999 a dedicated Russian-Italian joint venture, Blue Stream Pipeline Company B.V., was incorporated in the Netherlands by Gazprom and Eni on a parity basis. Presently, the joint venture owns the gas pipeline offshore section including the Beregovaya compressor station. Gazprom is the owner and the operator of the onshore section.
From September 2001 through June 2002 construction of the offshore section was underway.
In November 2005 the Durusu gas metering station located near Samsun (Turkey) hosted the celebrations dedicated to the Blue Stream project implementation.
In November 2005 the first stage of the Beregovaya compressor station was commissioned in the Gelendzhik District of the Krasnodar Territory.
The gas pipeline design capacity is 16 billion cubic meters of gas per annum.
In September 2010 the total gas volume conveyed through Blue Stream exceeded 51 billion cubic meters.
It should be noted that in certain periods at the Turkish party’s request Blue Stream daily conveys the amount of gas equal to its design capacity. This happens in case Iran defaults on its obligations. Gazprom compensates for gas delivery shortfalls giving a helping hand to the Turkish colleagues.
Gazprom is also capable of covering peak demand during regular low temperature periods in Turkey.