On paper it all sounded so alluring: lost gas sales to Europe because of Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the destruction of Nord Stream 1 and 2 could be replaced by re-routing the gas to Turkey, transforming Turkey into a global "gas hub." Yet key questions relating to who would be in charge of the hub, Vladimir Putin's Russia or Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Turkey, were never fully vetted, leaving the gas hub concept a year on still on the very paper it first appeared.
"There are managerial issues, they are fighting for who should manage the hub," the source said to Reuters on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to speak to the media.
Another source, close to Kremlin-controlled gas giant Gazprom, acknowledged there was a "problem" over the management issues.
Gazprom and the Turkish energy ministry did not respond to requests for comment.
Moscow currently supplies gas to Turkey via the Blue Stream and TurkStream pipelines across the Black Sea. Gas via TurkStream also goes for further exports to southern and eastern Europe, including Hungary, Greece, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Romania and Serbia.
And in a further fleshing out of the gas hub concept. Turkey has said it would also be possible to include the Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP), which carries Azeri natural gas to the Turkish border.
Some Western capitals are concerned that any Turkish gas hub that includes Russian gas could allow Moscow to mask exports that are sanctioned by the West over its actions in Ukraine, by mixing the fuel with that from other sources.
Turkey currently imports nearly all its gas and has extensive liquefied natural gas import infrastructure. Ankara believes it can leverage its existing and new trade relations to become a gas hub.
Putin said over the summer that the gas hub was still on the agenda, and Russia wanted to set up an electronic platform for gas sales in Turkey.
At a meeting with his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan on Sept. 4, Putin said Gazprom had submitted a road map for the hub to Turkish energy company BOTAS.