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MOSCOW, February 8. /TASS/. Gazprom and Turkey have agreed the Turkish Stream’s on-ground passage for further exploration, Gazprom’s CEO Alexei Miller told reporters while commenting on his visit to Turkey.
"We have identified and put on the map also the on-ground passage of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline for further exploration and projecting," he said. "This is the key news."
Gazprom is ready to supply to Europe via the Turkish Stream, a proposed natural gas pipeline linking Russia and Turkey across the Black Sea, 47 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas annually and to complete the construction of the pipeline’s first thread in December 2016, the company said in a statement Saturday.
"The capacity of the sea pipeline from Russia to Turkey will total 63 billion cu m annually," Gazprom said. "The volume of gas that will be supplied to the border of Turkey and Greece is 47 bcm."
The Turkish Stream pipeline project should replace the canceled South Stream pipeline project.
Gazprom will build the sea section of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline independently, the company said on January 27. The statement came after a meeting between Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller and Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yildiz.
"Gazprom will implement the sea-borne part of the project on its own. Gas transportation capacities in Turkey will be created jointly. Participatory stakes will be determined during further negotiations," the statement said.
"Botas has been appointed as the authorized company from the Turkish side. Gazprom and Botas will prepare during a week a joint schedule plan of basic measures under the project," the statement said.
The meeting between the Gazprom CEO and the Turkish energy and natural resources minister discussed preliminary technical and economic calculations for the new project and made a decision on its route, the Russian energy giant said.
The Turkish Stream gas pipe’s four lines will have a total capacity of 63 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually. The new gas pipeline will run 660 km (410 miles) along the old corridor of the South Stream project abandoned by Russia and 250 km (155 miles) in the new corridor towards Turkey’s European part.
Gazprom will send a request already on January 28 for design and survey work in the new Turkish sea section, the company said.
Gazprom and Turkey’s Botas Petroleum Pipeline Corporation signed a memorandum of understanding on December 1, 2014, envisaging the construction of the gas pipeline across the Black Sea to Turkey.
Gazprom also said in its statement that Russia and Turkey planned to sign an inter-governmental agreement in the second quarter of 2015 on the construction of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline.
"We have agreed to organize work in a way to sign an inter-governmental agreement on the gas pipeline in the second quarter of this year and deliver the first gas to the Turkish territory in December 2016," the statement quoted Gazprom CEO Miller as saying.
"We’ll direct the capacity of the gas pipe’s first line - 15.75 billion cubic meters - fully to the Turkish market. Considering the degree of readiness of the Russkaya compressor station and the larger part of the route, this timeframe is absolutely realistic," he said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on December 1 that the project to build the South Stream gas pipeline was closed due to the European Union’s unconstructive approach to cooperation in that sphere, including Bulgaria’s decision to stop the construction of the pipeline’s stretch on its territory.
Instead, Russia will build a gas pipeline to Turkey where a gas hub on the border with Europe will be created, Putin said.
South Stream was Gazprom's global infrastructure project designed to build a gas pipeline with a capacity of 63 billion cubic meters across the Black Sea to Southern and Central Europe in order to diversify natural gas export routes and eliminate transit risks.
The South Stream’s overland part was expected to run across Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Slovenia and Austria with a gas metering station at Tarvisio, Italy, as its terminus.
The South Stream gas project envisaged the pipeline’s offshoots to Croatia and the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The South Stream gas project was estimated at 16 billion euros and the first gas deliveries were expected to start in late 2015.
The construction of the Bulgarian stretch was launched on October 31, 2013. However, the European Commission later started an anti-monopoly probe into the South Stream project, saying it contradicted the norms of the Third Energy Package.