MOSCOW, November 4. /TASS/. The first line of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline on Saturday entered the Turkish exclusive economic zone, the project’s operator said.
"Pioneering Spirit, the world’s largest construction vessel, laid into the sea the pipe sections with the Russian and Turkish flags, which symbolize crossing of the exclusive economic zone’s border between the countries," the operator said.
The border crossing marks end of two marine line’s construction in the Russian exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Over less than six months, almost 25% of the marine passage construction were completed (448 kilometers of both lines). The construction continues in accordance with the schedule. Gas transportation along the pipeline is due in December 2019.
The Pioneering Spirit laid one line to the EEZ border, and then returned to Anapa (Russia) to begin the deep-water laying of the second line. The other vessel - Audacia - in late July finished laying both lines in shallow waters. Thus, the main pipe-laying operations in the Russian EEZ were made within one campaign.
Now, the Pioneering Spirit will continue laying one line to Turkey’s shore. Both lines will get ashore about 100km west of Istanbul, in Kiyikoy. The vessel is laying about four kilometers of pipes a day. On November 1, 2017, it laid the record 5.15km of the Turkish Stream. The Black Sea’s depth at the EEZ’s border is 2,171meters, which is actually the deepest passage of the pipeline.
According to Bloomberg, Gazprom estimates the project’s cost at $6 billion.
The Turkish Stream project envisages building a gas pipeline along the seabed of the Black Sea to the European part of Turkey and farther on to the border with Greece.
The pipeline’s offshore section is expected to equal about 910 km and its overland segment across Turkey will stretch over a distance of 180 km.
The Turkish Stream has come as a replacement for the South Stream gas pipeline project, which was expected to run across Bulgaria. Russia gave up the South Stream project in late 2014 over the EU’s stance.
In 2017, Gazprom reviewed investments in the project to 92.8 billion rubles ($1.6 billion) from 41.9 billion ($709 million).