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From SouthStream to TurkStream

Russia's initiative to send gas across the Black Sea to western Europe took firm shape in 2011 when Gazprom set up its subsidiary South Stream Transport (SST), now based in Amsterdam, together with European partners Eni, Wintershall and EDF. At that time the plan was to lay four 32 inch trunklines for SouthStream, making landfall in Bulgaria.

Three years into its life, the SouthStream project entered a period of particular geo-political turbulence as events in Crimea unfolded. In late 2014, with pipe manufacture well under way and the Russian landfall in preparation, President Vladimir Putin cancelled SouthStream.

On 1 December 2014 the project became TurkStream, now making its landfall in Turkey rather than Bulgaria, and with Gazprom taking over all its partners’shares.

The first two-thirds of the 930 kilometre route remained much the same, but with some extra survey work needed on the final third. A reduction from four trunklines to two - eliminating lines 2 and 3 - then came in October 2015. The name of the client for TurkStream remains SST.

The Russian fighter jet incident over Syria in November 2015 led to offshore works being put on hold for nearly a year until October 2016 when Russia and Turkey signed an agreement that allowed TurkStream to restart.

Allseas was awarded the contract to lay Line 1 in December 2016, followed by the award for Line 4 two months later.

Co-operation between the two governments continues to be good says SST, and the target for first flow of gas is stated as the end of 2019.

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