Turkey to construct natural gas projects with Russia and Iran

Jul 30, 2000 02:00 AM

Turkey is stepping up construction of natural gas projects both with Russia and Iran in a bid to mitigate its shortage of energy. Ankara is also rebuilding the Tarutina Compressor station within Ukraine borders to increase the capacity of the current natural gas pipeline via Ukraine from Russia to Turkey.
The pipeline carries 16 bn cm of natural gas from Russia to Turkey every year. With the operation of the compressor station to be started in the fourth quarter of this year, the capacity of the pipeline will increase by 3.8 bn cm.
Construction of a new gas pipeline beneath the Black Sea linking Russia and Turkey, namely the Blue Stream, was under way intensively. The project which started in February, was expected to deliver 365 bn cm of gas from Russia production sites to Turkey over 25 years from 2001. Faced with growing energy demands, Turkey is also expected to start purchasing 3 bn cm of gas annually from Iran as of September 2001 through a pipeline running from Iran's north-western Tabriz to Ankara.

Under a 1996 agreement, Turkey pledged to buy natural gas from Iran over 23 years, supplied by the pipeline, and complete its section of the conduit by January 1, 1999. But Turkey has failed to meet the deadline and said in February that it will not be able to complete the pipeline until the end of 2000.
With full US backing, Turkey is pursuing a multi-million dollar pipeline project -- which excludes routes through both Russia and Iran -- to carry natural gas from Turkmenistan through the Caspian Sea to western markets via Turkey. The United States has voiced opposition to the Turkish-Iranian deal on the grounds that it was a rival to the trans-Caspian pipeline.
To soothe Washington, Ankara repeatedly said the trans-Caspian pipeline is a priority and even postponed the construction of the Tabriz-Ankara pipeline. But the trans-Caspian pipeline seems a long-term project without sight. Growing and urgently-needed energy demands prompted Ankara to complete the immediate construction of the two projects both with Russia and Iran as soon as possible.
Turkey will receive the Iranian natural gas on the border region in its eastern Dogubeyazit. It was reported that more than 50 % of the pipeline between Dogubeyazit and Seydisehir town, central Konya province, has been finalised so far. The pipeline will end in Ankara. Analysts here said that with the two projects, Turkey will increase its natural gas supply greatly as of 2001.

Source: Xinhua via Newspage
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