ANKARA, April 7. /TASS/. Russia’s proposal to build the Turkish Stream gas pipeline for natural gas supplies to Europe via Turkey has increased interest in the region, Turkey’s Minister for EU Affairs Volkan Bozkir said on Tuesday.
The Turkish minister spoke at a meeting in Hungary that discussed European energy security.
"We attach great significance to energy relations with Russia. Russia’s proposal to lay a new gas pipeline (the Turkish Stream) has increased interest in the region. After the project’s feasibility studies are over, we’ll be able to give it a more qualitative estimate," the local media quoted the Turkish minister as saying.
The efforts to diversify the sources of energy supplies to Turkey contribute to Europe’s energy security, Bozkir said.
"Today Turkey meets its internal requirements for gas through its own resources by 30% while imports account for all the rest. That is why, we attach great significance to diversification, which simultaneously makes contribution to the security of hydrocarbon supplies to Europe," the minister said.
Gazprom and Turkey’s Botas Petroleum Pipeline Corporation signed a memorandum of understanding on December 1, 2014, envisaging the construction of a gas pipeline across the Black Sea to Turkey.
The Turkish Stream gas pipeline will have a capacity of 63 billion cubic meters, of which 50 billion cubic meters will be supplied to a new gas hub on the Turkish-Greek border.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on December 1 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 Turkish Stream 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.