Monday 20th of November 2017, 05:07 CET
World Deepest Undersea Gas Pipeline Completed
October 20, 2002
Associated Press

Posted by HW on November 20, 2017

Turkey's energy minister welded two pipes together Sunday to finish construction of the world's deepest undersea gas pipeline that will bring Russian gas to Turkey under the Black Sea, news reports said.

The 360-kilometer (216-mile) underwater segment of the 446-kilometer (278-mile) dual pipeline was laid at a record depth of 2,100 meters (7,000 feet) below the surface of the Black Sea by Italy's Saipem engineering company.

Energy Minister Zeki Cakan welded the end of the pipeline, stretching from the Russian port of Dzhubga to Turkey's Black Sea port of Samsun, to a separate 501-kilometer (313-mile) pipeline running from Samsun to the capital Ankara, the Anatolia news agency said.

The line, called Blue Stream, is expected to begin test deliveries of natural gas to Turkey within a month. Turkey plans to start receiving an annual 3 billion cubic meters (105 billion cubic feet) of natural gas in 2003. The volume will increase to an annual 16 billion cubic meters (560 billion cubic feet) in 2008.

Turkey says the pipeline, which cost US$3.2 billion, will meet its expanding energy needs. Turkey will need up to 55 billion cubic meters (1.925 trillion cubic feet) a year by 2010, analysts say.

Blue Stream has come under fire in Turkey amid allegations of corruption. Critics say the project will increase Turkey's reliance on Russian natural gas, and highlight the fact that no tender was opened in Turkey for the project.

The pipeline would increase Turkey's reliance on Russian natural gas from the current 66 percent to around 80 percent. It could also hamper U.S. efforts to curtail Russia's influence in energy-rich Caucasus.

A U.S.-backed pipeline project also aims to bring natural gas to Turkey from Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan.

Turkey, which also buys natural gas from its eastern neighbor Iran through a pipeline, hopes to export its excess natural gas to Europe one day.

Turkey's Balkan neighbors Bulgaria and Romania agreed Friday to build a section of an international pipeline to transport Iranian natural gas from Turkey to Central Europe.
 
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