Gas Transit Through Turkey to Raise Its Status as Part of Energy and Economic Co-operation

9 february 2017 | IA REGNUM

If Turkey is able to materialize its ambitious plans and become a large regional energy hub, primarily gas hub, the republic will considerably increase its bargaining power as part of energy and economic cooperation with all stakeholders. Both the European Union, the ultimate consumer of energy resources, and their suppliers. Those who have already lost or will lose any alternative to the Turkish route are most affected. This opinion was shared by Oleg Kolobov, an expert of the Analytical Center, with a reporter of REGNUM News Agency.

Oleg Kolobov
Oleg Kolobov
Department for Fuel and Energy Sector

“As for Europe, any alternatives to transit through the territory of Turkey for southern gas projects have, virtually, disappeared after Russia refused to implement the project for construction of the South Stream gas pipeline from Russia to Bulgaria in favor of the Russian-Turkish gas pipeline,” the expert said.

At the same time, the question is how Turkey's ambitious energy plans can affect Russia in economic and political dimensions. In Mr. Kolobov's opinion, to Russia as well as other gas suppliers to the EU, transit through Turkey will mean greater bargaining power of the Turkish side as part of solving gas and related energy and economic issues.

Furthermore, if Moscow refuses to transit its gas to the European Union through Ukraine after 2019, then the transit role of Turkey for Russia will, no doubt, grow. This is about the implementation of Turkish Stream project, which is still limited to the second line with a capacity of 15.75 billion cubic meters per year. In turn, the gas pipeline construction, the analyst says, directly depends on the political and economic situation in Europe, as well as development of the relevant gas infrastructure in the Balkans.

“Most of the Russian gas supplies to Europe will be transported via gas pipelines through Belarus, as well as the first and second (under construction) phases of the North Stream gas pipeline with the aggregate capacity of about 150 billion cubic meters. Moreover, a limited volume of the Russian gas supplies through Turkey to Europe will allow avoiding dependence on the political stability of a potential transit country which is often under threat, as evidenced by massive protests in 2013, coup attempt in 2016, as well as a challenging military and political situation in the region and a potential conflict with the Kurdish minority,” Mr. Kolobov summarized.

Source: REGNUM News Agency