Bulgarian state officials' decision to increase the capacity of the current Trans-Balkan pipeline appears as if they wish to capture the entire gas volume of TurkStream's second line, according to the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies' Natural Gas Research Program Founder, Jonathan Stern, on Friday.
Stern told Anadolu Agency that Bulgaria is not necessarily the most powerful candidate for TurkStream's second line to transfer gas to Europe, which has a transfer capacity of 15.75 billion cubic meters of natural gas per annum.
The new Lozenets-Nedyalsko pipeline, launched on Friday, Aug. 3, will increase the current Trans-Balkan pipeline's capacity from 14 billion cubic meters to 15.7 billion cubic meters.TurkStream is a gas pipeline project stretching across the Black Sea from Russia to Turkey and further to Turkey's border with neighboring countries.
The first line of the pipeline intends to supply gas to Turkish consumers, while the second line is designated for consumers in southern and southeastern Europe. Each line will have the throughput capacity of 15.75 billion cubic meters of gas per year.
"This looks like a move from Bulgaria to try to capture the entire volume of gas from TurkStream 2," Stern noted.
However, Stern explained the decision that TurkStream operator Gazprom will take on the line's transfer route depends on which European markets Gazprom will find more profitable in targeting.
Gazprom has two candidate transfer countries for the second line of the giant pipeline, Stern explained, adding, "If Gazprom believes that the ultimate market for TurkStream 2's gas is Italy - then Greece is a better option. If Gazprom believes that the ultimate market for TurkStream 2's gas
Turkey and Bulgaria officially launched the natural gas pipeline on Friday, Aug. 3.
The new Lozenets-Nedyalsko 20-kilometer pipeline will allow reverse flows between Bulgaria and Turkey.
The opening ceremony was held with the attendance of Bulgaria's Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, Turkey's Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Donmez and Bulgaria's Energy Minister Temenuzhka Petkova.
John Roberts, a senior fellow at Atlantic Council's Global Energy Center asserted that based on the launch of this Bulgarian-Turkey Lozenets-Nedyalsko pipeline, Gazprom is at least assessing the prospect of sending some TurkStream gas volumes to Bulgaria.
"But we need to know more about Gazprom's willingness to use existing lines in the Balkans, such as the Trans-Balkan line, or to invest in building new infrastructure in the Balkans before we can judge how serious they are," he said.
He argued that Gazprom might look at sending some gas to Balkan customers via Bulgaria and some via Greece.
However, he said the big issue, which this pipeline does not resolve, is how Gazprom can deliver gas via the
By Murat Temizer