Russia, Turkey Sign Turkish Stream Agreement

turkakimi_imzaRussia and Turkey signed an intergovernmental agreement for the Turkish Stream natural gas pipeline project in Istanbul on Monday.

Alexander Novak, Russia’s energy minister and Berat Albayrak, Turkey’s energy minister signed the agreement, following a meeting between Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, which continued for 140 minutes in Istanbul.

Earlier Monday Putin indicated the need to develop the Turkish Stream natural gas project during talks with Erdogan.

The project, announced by Putin during a December 2014 visit to Turkey, will carry gas from Russia under the Black Sea to Turkish Thrace. One line, with a 15.75 billion cubic meters of capacity, is expected to supply the Turkish market while a second line intends carrying gas to Europe.

Negotiation over the pipeline were halted after Turkey shot down a Russian jet over the Turkey-Syria border in November last year but recently talks have resumed.

Last month, Gazprom said construction could start by the end of 2017 if an intergovernmental agreement was signed in October, with the goal of completing the pipeline by 2019.

Turkey, which is the second biggest consumer of Russian gas after Germany, imports around 30 billion cubic meters of gas from Russia annually via two pipelines — the Blue Stream, which passes under the eastern Black Sea, and the Western Line through the Balkans.