Uniting of the Turkish Stream and TANAP gas pipelines at the Turkish-Greek border is absolutely a normal process, President of the International Association for Energy Economics (IAEE) Gurkan Kumbaroglu told Trend Aug. 16.
He said that this process is also important in terms of diversification of energy sources and energy security. Kumbaroglu added that since Turkey will become the only access of the Turkish Stream and TANAP gas pipelines to Europe, the EU can support this move.
“After the construction of the Turkish stream was postponed, Russia and Germany signed an agreement on construction of the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline,” said Kumbaroglu. “But this agreement caused a big debate in the EU, and the implementation of this project may become impossible.”
Russia abandoned the South Stream project in favor of Turkish Stream in December 2014, which involves the construction of the gas pipeline from Russia to Turkey through the Black Sea, however, an intergovernmental agreement was not signed. However, the project was frozen after the relations between Moscow and Ankara deteriorated in November 2015. The presidents of Russia and Turkey agreed to resume it Aug. 9, 2016.
The Nord Stream 2 project includes construction of two lines of the offshore gas pipeline with a total capacity of 55 billion cubic meters of gas a year from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea, in addition to the existing two lines. Kumbaroglu said that while other projects for the export of Russian gas to Europe receive a negative evaluation, there were no negative feedbacks from the EU regarding the Turkish Stream.
He went on to add that the EU doesn’t criticize the Turkish Stream project, and Turkey is not a member of the EU, so this project doesn’t fall under the purview of the Third Energy Package. The EU’s Third Energy Package is a legislative package for an internal gas and electricity market in the EU. Its purpose is to further open up the gas and electricity markets in the EU. The package was proposed by the European Commission in September 2007, and adopted by the European Parliament and the Council of the EU in July 2009. It entered into force on 3 September 2009.
Core elements of the third package include ownership unbundling, which stipulates the separation of companies’ generation and sale operations from their transmission networks, and the establishment of a National regulatory authority (NRA) for each Member State, and the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators which provides a forum for NRAs to work together.
“As is known, the EU is in need of Azerbaijani gas, which will be transported through the TANAP pipeline,” said Kumbaroglu. “At the same time the EU needs Russian gas as well.”
TANAP project envisages transportation of gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz field to the western borders of Turkey. The gas will be delivered to Turkey in 2018, and after completion of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline’s construction, the gas will be delivered to Europe in early 2020.
Kumbaroglu thinks that as a result of the growing demand for gas in Europe, it is possible that the EU increase its imports. Earlier, Russia stated that it will stop gas supplies to Europe via Ukraine, which makes implementation of the Turkish Stream by Russia and Turkey more real, he said.
Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told Turkish media Aug. 10 that Ankara will buy only 16 billion cubic meters of Russian gas per year via the Turkish Stream. The remaining volume of Russian gas can be exported through Turkey via TANAP by connecting it to the Turkish Stream.