Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Russian President Vladimir Putin attended the completion ceremony of the offshore section of the Turkish Stream Project (TurkStream) on November 19th. The two presidents congratulated each other for enabling the timely completion of this most difficult part of the project. Putin thanked Erdoğan for his “political will and courage”.
TurkStream will deliver Russian natural gas across the Black Sea to Turkey and then onto Europe. The project was announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin on December 1st, 2014, during his state visit to Turkey. This project was a replacement for the South Stream pipeline that was to have been built in cooperation with European Union countries, but which was later cancelled.
In November 2015, after a Russian Sukhoi Su-24 jet was shot down by a Turkish jet, Russia's Economic Development Minister stated that the TurkStream gas pipeline project fell under the restrictive measures against Turkey. Talks on the project were unilaterally suspended by the Russian side. On December 5th, 2015, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Turkey had terminated the TurkStream project on the grounds of Russian "non-compliance" with Turkish demands relating to the project. In late July 2016, following a reconciliation meeting in Moscow, both sides brought the project back to the table. On October 10th, 2016, Russia and Turkey signed an intergovernmental agreement in Istanbul which confirmed commitment on both sides to the execution of the project.
The contract for laying the first line was signed on December 8th, 2016 and for the second line on February 20th, 2017. Laying of the first line in the Russian offshore section started on May 7th, 2017.
The pipeline begins at the Russkaya compressor station near Anapa. It runs approximately 910 kilometres (570 miles) offshore. The landing point in Turkey is Kıyıköy, a village in the district of Vize in Kırklareli Province at north-western Turkey. From there, a 180-kilometre-long pipeline will run to Lüleburgaz.
The pipeline has two lines with a total capacity of 31.5 billion cubic metres per annum (1.11 trillion cubic feet per annum) of natural gas. Both lines are using pipes with an outer diameter of 32 inches (810 mm). Its estimated total cost is Euros 11.4 billion.
The project has been implemented by South Stream Transport B.V., a subsidiary of Gazprom, which was originally established for the implementation of the cancelled South Stream project. In the near-shore areas the pipeline was laid by the pipe-laying vessel Audacia. For the deep part of the Black Sea the pipe-laying vessel Pioneering Spirit was used. The pipeline was installed in water depths up to 7,220 feet (2,200 m).
Turkey is expected to consume about 15.75 billion cubic metres per annum (556 billion cubic feet per annum), with the rest of the gas being brought to the Greek–Turkish border to be exported by connecting pipelines to Europe. The planned follow-on projects to bring Russian gas from TurkStream into Europe include the Tesla Pipeline, to run from Greece to Republic of North Macedonia, Serbia and Hungary, ending at hubs in Austria.
In May 2018, Gazprom and BOTAS announced an agreement to construct the land portion of the Europe-bound Turkish stream pipeline. The deep water portion’s construction had been completed by Gazprom. The first gas flow is expected to start in December 2019.