Construction Finishes on Turkey’s TANAP Gas Pipeline, Rival to Gazprom’s Turkstream

The second and final part of the first stage of the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) will be commissioned on November 30, Vedomosti writes citing Turkish media reports.

TANAP is the Turkish section of the Southern Gas Corridor, which is supposed to ensure gas supplies from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz field to markets in Turkey and Southeastern Europe. Its length is more than 1,800 kilometers, and its construction’s price tag is estimated at about $7 billion.

Russia’s state-run gas major Gazprom also has a pipeline carrying natural gas to Turkey, called Blue Stream. The Russian company hopes to begin exporting gas through another link — TurkStream — in late 2019. The project was initiated in 2015, when Gazprom exported about 27 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas per year to Turkey with the country’s total consumption standing at about 46.6 bcm.

From January to September 2019, Gazprom exported 11.7 bcm of gas to that market, which is a 35-percent decrease compared to 2018.

The drop in gas demand in Turkey is the result of a slowdown in the economy and rising domestic gas prices, the paper quotes Maria Belova, head of research at Vygon Consulting, as saying. 

“Russia acts as the closing supplier to the Turkish market, giving way to LNG and Azerbaijani gas. The two Azerbaijani contracts, supplies from the Shah Deniz project, will largely serve as the benchmark for gas imports to Turkey,” she noted.

In Turkey, Gazprom is facing the same challenges as in the European market, that is, competition with alternative suppliers and the need to be flexible, especially as far as prices go, in order to protect its market share, Corporations Department Director at Fitch Dmitry Marinchenko said.

“The construction of TurkStream coincided with the commissioning of TANAP, which can lead to the fact that even TurkStream’s first leg will not be fully loaded. The capacity of the Turkish market maybe not enough to absorb all volumes,” he warned.