Gazprom to EU: link to Turkey or lose Russian gas

The Turkish Stream gas pipeline project is the sole route for Russia’s future supplies of 63 billion m3 of natural gas to Europe currently delivered via Ukraine, Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller said last week.

The Gazprom head made this statement in response to a question about the fate of Russia’s South Stream gas pipeline project.

“The project is closed. The Turkish Stream is the sole route, which can deliver 63 billion m3 of Russian natural gas transited across Ukraine so far. There are no other options,” Miller said.

Gazprom has notified its European partners about its Turkish Stream gas pipe plans and now their task is to create the necessary gas transport infrastructure from the border of Turkey and Greece, the Gazprom head said.

“They have a maximum of several years for this. This is a very tight schedule. To comply with it, work for the construction of new trunk gas pipelines should be started in EU countries right now. Otherwise, these gas volumes may be redirected to other markets,” the Gazprom head said.

Russia’s plans to shift all its natural gas flows crossing Ukraine to a route via Turkey is a surprise move that the European Union’s energy chief said would hurt its reputation as a supplier.

The decision makes no economic sense, Maros Sefcovic, the European Commission’s Vice President for Energy Union, told reporters today after talks with Russian government officials and the head of gas exporter, OAO Gazprom (GAZP), in Moscow.

Sefcovic said he was “very surprised” by Miller’s comment, adding that relying on a Turkish route, without Ukraine, won’t fit with the EU’s gas system.

Gazprom plans to deliver the fuel to Turkey’s border with Greece and “it’s up to the EU to decide what to do” with it further, according to Sefcovic.

“We don’t work like this,” he said. “The trading system and trading habits - how we do it today - are different.”

Edited from various sources by Elizabeth Corner

Sources: Global ResearchBusiness Week

Published on 19/01/2015

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