Russia and Turkey Agree on Construction Schedule for Turkish Stream - However Questions Still Linger
This past December 2014 Russia and Turkey signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to transport 63 billion cubic meters of gas per year via a Black Sea pipeline from Russia into Turkey and ending at the Turkish-Greek border. Generally such MOUs are non-binding. But this week the two countries sought to erase any doubt by announcing the operational commissioning and start of gas deliveries in December 2016.
The agreement was signed by Miller and Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Taner Yildiz during a meeting this week in Ankara. Miller and Yildiz also agreed on Turkish Stream as the new name for the carrier.
Despite all the fanfare questions remain: Turkey plans to purchase 14 billion of the 63 billion cubic meters throughput, leaving the rest for further distribution in Europe. Yet there are concerns that there is not enough capacity to transport this amount from the Greek-Turkish border further to Europe. Moreover, according to the European Commissioner for Energy Maroš Šefčovič the proposed pipeline exceeds demands of possible customers.