Gazprom accelerated the construction of the Turkish Stream

Russia's gas company quietly began constructing the second string of the gas pipeline for the transit of gas to Europe.
On the beginning of construction of the second thread of the Turkish Stream by Gazprom, one of the contractor's contractors and a federal official told Vedomosti. According to one of them, about 20-25 km of the pipe has already been laid on the bottom of the Black Sea. The work is carried out by the ship-pipelayer Audacia of the Swiss company Allseas, which won the tender of Gazprom for laying the pipe under the water.

According to the site, now the ship is a few kilometers south of the village. Small Utrish. During the last days Audacia moves with a constant average speed of 0.1-0.15 knots per hour (4-5 km per day) along the route where the first thread of the Turkish Stream was laid first. This corresponds approximately to the stated working speed of pipe laying.

 According to Allseas, Audacia can take up to 14,000 tons of pipes on board. Replenishment of their stock, according to the interlocutor of "Vedomosti", cargo ships Highland Navigator (carrying capacity - 3300 tons) and Baccara (3000 tons) are engaged. According to, from the evening of July 17 until the evening of July 18, they made two flights from the port of Anapa to Audacia, accompanied her on the route for some time and returned back. In the roads of the port of Anapa there is also a truck "Evdokia", which arrived from Bulgaria with a cargo of pipes on the night of 17 to 18 July. As explained by the interlocutor of Vedomosti, three trucks ensure the uninterrupted operation of the pipelayer, replenishing its pipe reserves on the route, Evdokiya is waiting its turn.

While Gazprom reported the construction of the underwater part of only the first thread of the Turkish Stream. The same pipelayer Audacia was engaged in laying the shallow water area.

On June 23, the relay took over from him another ship Allseas - the largest pipelayer in the world Pioneering Spirit, capable of laying the pipe at great depths. The working speed of the pipelayer is also about 5 km per day. On July 10, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said that about 50 km of the gas pipeline along the bottom of the Black Sea had already been built. At the same time, the official said that Turkey has not yet given final confirmation to the points of the gas pipeline's exit on its territory, but will do so "in the near future."

About when the laying of the second line of the pipeline begins, Gazprom has not yet reported.

 "Turkish flow" was a substitute for the "South Stream" project halted by Gazprom. He provided for the construction of a pipe along the bottom of the Black Sea to Bulgaria. But the project fell through, and already imported pipes to Bulgaria it was decided to use for the project "Turkish flow". The latter provides for the construction of two gas pipeline threads with a capacity of up to 15.75 billion cubic meters. M each: one for Turkey, the second for transit to Europe. But so far only an intergovernmental agreement has been concluded with Turkey on gas supplies through the first line of the pipeline.

The representative of Allseas only informed Vedomosti that 100 km of pipe had been built. Whether the construction of the second thread began, he did not say. Audacia is engaged in "technical work," a Gazprom spokesman said, but did not elaborate on which ones. Official comments of Gazprom's press service: "The company is focused on the construction of the first thread."

Gazprom regularly invests in infrastructure for new projects even before it signs gas supply contracts with consumers, says Dmitri Marinchenko, Director of Fitch Ratings. So it was with the development of deposits and the construction of the pipeline, which will have to feed "Nord Stream - 2", he recalls.

To boost the construction of the Turkish flow Gazprom forces a high probability of adoption of new sanctions by the American authorities, the director of the energy center of the Skolkovo business school, Tatiana Mitrova, suggests. The bill specifically mentions export gas pipelines. Perhaps, Gazprom strives to make the most of the available time and build as much as possible, she argues.

According to Mitrovoy, Gazprom has to choose less than two evils. On the one hand, the risk of incomplete workload of the second thread and the obviously difficult negotiations with Turkey and Europe. On the other - the risk in general nothing to build in the event of US sanctions. "After all, we simply do not have the technologies for deep-water pipe laying necessary for the construction of the Turkish flow," Mitrova sums up.