Gazprom warns EU to link to Turkey pipeline or lose Russian gas
MOSCOW - Agence France-Presse
'The Turkish Stream is the only route along which 63 billion cubic meters of Russian gas can be supplied, which at present transit Ukraine. There are no other options,' Gazprom chief Alexei Miller says. REUTERS PhotoRussian energy giant Gazprom has urged the European Union to link up to its planned energy pipeline to Turkey or lose the gas that now transits Ukraine.
“The Turkish Stream is the only route along which 63 billion cubic meters of Russian gas can be supplied, which at present transit Ukraine. There are no other options,” Gazprom chief Alexei Miller said on Jan. 14, after a meeting with the new European Commissioner for Energy Union, Maros Sefcovic, in Moscow.
Russia now plans to build a new gas pipeline to Turkey, which it already supplies through an existing pipeline called Blue Stream, turning Turkey into a key transit center for Russian gas.
Turkey is the second-largest European importer of Russian gas after Germany.
“Our European partners have been informed of this and now their task is to create the necessary gas transport infrastructure from the Greek and Turkish border,” said Miller, according to a Gazprom statement.
“They have a couple of years at most to do this. It’s a very, very tight deadline. In order to meet the deadline, the work on building new trunk gas pipelines in European Union countries must start immediately today. Otherwise, these volumes of gas could end up in other markets,” he warned.
Europe faced the risk that supplies piped through Ukraine could still be affected in January and February, which is the peak period for energy consumption, he added.
“The transit risks in Ukraine remain this winter,” Agence France-Presse reported that Miller suggested the problem of reduced transit supplies could stem from Kyiv’s struggle to pay for enough Russian gas to see its own citizens through the remaining winter months.
“Ukraine, due to financial difficulties, was not able to buy the necessary volume of Russian gas in November and December last year and significantly depleted its reserves of gas in underground storage,” Miller said.
No deal between Turkey, Russia on gas prices
ANKARA - Anadolu Agency
Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yıldız has said Turkey failed to reach an agreement with Gazprom on natural gas prices for 2015.
Turkey and Gazprom have held two meetings on gas prices for 2015 without reaching an agreement, Yıldız said late Jan. 14.
“Low oil prices are weakening our bargaining power,” he said, adding that Turkey may hold a third meeting with Gazprom in the near future.
Yıldız, in a press conference for Energy Charter’s Turkey report, said the country used 2 billion cubic meters of natural gas in the last 10 days as a result of cold weather, which amounts to the annual consumption of many small countries.
He said in this 10-day period, Istanbul, Ankara, Bursa, Eskişehir and Kocaeli consumed the most natural gas.
With the country’s increasing need to secure supplies, he referred to potential problems between Ukraine and Russia, which could affect Turkey’s energy security, as it receives 12.5 percent of its natural gas via the Western Pipeline that comes through Ukraine.