Turkish Stream to run through Bulgaria and Serbia
Bulgaria intends to sign an agreement with Serbia on the transit of Turkish Stream gas, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov said.
"We signed a road map a few weeks ago - 15.7 billion cubic meters. Tomorrow we will sign a similar agreement with Serbia. We will receive a flow of 10 billion cubic meters from Bulgaria to Serbia," he stressed.
The head of government drew attention to the fact that if Russia wants to stop gas transit through Ukraine, then Bulgaria can take gas from the Turkish Stream, RIA Novosti reported.
Gazprom has started construction of the offshore section of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline along the bottom of the Black Sea on May 7. The first string of the gas pipeline is intended for Turkish consumers, while the second string will deliver gas to southern and southeastern Europe. Each string will have the throughput capacity of 15.75 billion cubic meters of gas per year. The first line of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline should be ready in March 2018 and the second line in 2019.
On July 5, Hungary and Gazprom signed an agreement on gas deliveries to Europe over the Turkish Stream.
A senior analyst of 'Uralsib Capital', Alexei Kokin, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, stressed that neither the current agreement with Hungary on supplies of Russian gas, nor the forthcoming signing of an agreement between Bulgaria and Serbia yet guarantees the implementation of the European part of the Turkish Stream. "I do not think that the future of the second string of the Turkish Stream is guaranteed, even if Gazprom immediately signs an agreement with all three countries. The fact is that, in addition to Hungary, Bulgaria and Serbia, the project should have other final consumers. The construction of the second string will make sense only when the countries receiving Russian gas through Ukraine will agree on it," he explained.
"I mean Slovakia, perhaps the Czech Republic, as well as Austria. The previous project - South Stream - was oriented either in different ways to the north of Italy or to Austria as the largest markets. They need to negotiate, that is, to sign long-term contracts that provide gas supplies, in particular, to the Ukrainian border," Alexei Kokin said.
"If we talk about the current needs of the interested countries, then Hungary consumes about 6 billion cubic meters of gas per year, Bulgaria and Serbia even less - they are interested in purchasing about 10 billion cubic meters of gas in Russia. If we add Slovakia and the Czech Republic, the second string will be of 15.7 billion cubic meters per year, but we need to take into account that countries do not necessarily want to reorient their purchases from the Ukrainian route to Turkish by 100%. It is worth remembering that since 2020 Bulgaria is set to receive at least 1 billion cubic meters per year from Azerbaijan. That is, there will be free volume in the second string of the Turkish Stream, and they will need someone to sell it," the senior analyst of 'Uralsib Capital' concluded.