Once at the beginning of December, it was announced that the rejection of the “South Stream” in favor of the Turkish route, started a variety of speculation. The fact that the “Turkish Stream” – nothing more than blackmail our European Union, is still a lot of uncertainties, etc, etc.
Yes, and we assumed that the “South Stream” can still be implemented if the “Gazprom” will get full access to their own trumpet. But whether such a proposal had been received, or after the deterioration of political relations with the EU, it became clear that Russian investment in the European territory – is not the best time.
But if in 2019 the supply of gas through Ukraine will be stopped, the time for redrawing the route really “back to back”. And in recent days, events began to move over quickly.
Route “Turkish flow” is defined
First, determine the route “of the Turkish stream.” It will take place for the most part the sea route “South Stream”, but at the last stage of the route deviates from the old in order to enter the land is not on the Bulgarian and on nearby, the Turkish coast. Thus, the fuel will flow into the western (European) part of Turkey.
Recall that there was an alternative – albeit “Turkish Stream” parallel actions “Blue Stream”, which goes on almost the shortest sea route between the two countries, bringing gas into the central part of Turkey.
That is the route chosen longer, but his logic is clear.
First, Turkey will receive their part of the Russian gas where it gets it right now. After all, in addition to direct “Blue Stream” in Turkey are supplies of Russian gas through Ukraine (about 12 billion cubic meters per year) and the territory of Europe (on the Burgas-Alexandroupoli pipeline). From the point of entry to Turkey, of course, just to the west of the country.
Secondly, in such a case it would need a minimum of new land infrastructure Turkish territory. (Otherwise, we would have to build a pipe from the center of Turkey to the western border.)
Thirdly, in this version of the “Gazprom” is still room for maneuver. First will be laid one thread (15.75 billion cubic meters, has already announced that the first gas will go through it in December 2016), the fuel is completely or almost completely accepted the will of the Turkish market.
A further action on new NITC will depend on whether there will be willing to European partners to take gas from the new hub. For additional pave marine thread will be easier and faster (though more expensive) than prepare a complete project overland route through Turkey, the construction of which would have to run at the last minute – when and if there will be certainty of the EU.
At the same time, Turkey is traded for additional discounts on the current supply of Russian gas (Ankara wants 15% more in December, Moscow proposed 6%). But “Gazprom” is adamant. It is understandable – the emergence of gas hub with a base in the form of Russian gas is beneficial for Turkey itself. And oil prices have fallen, which means that the gas would be already quite cheap.
Advances in the EU
Meanwhile, even within the EU there are already possible outlines of a new route. As it became known recently, Hungary is already in talks with Greece, Serbia and Macedonia on the supply of Russian gas to Central Europe through the new pipeline through Turkey.
While there is no certainty, the most active countries are trying to score for a future transit status. In addition, it is clear that the role of the “instigators” of the new route Hungary fits most. For the EU as a whole reacted very cool to the idea of change supply routes for Russian gas, and Hungary – one of the few “frondiruyuschih” countries on the relationship of Russia and the West. And this year, “Gazprom” stores in Hungary about 700 million cubic meters of gas from its reserves, uploaded directly to Europe.
The most difficult thing that you need to solve the “Gazprom”, – changes in contractual arrangements on the new point of delivery-acceptance of Russian gas. Rather, the parties agree amicably. The alternative – a unilateral refusal of “Gazprom” on the Ukrainian transit due to force majeure, which objectively probable.
In this context, an interesting message came on Wednesday. “Gazprom” and Austria’s OMV have “amendments to the long-term contract for the supply of gas, taking into account changing market conditions.” The amendments – was not disclosed. Perhaps we are talking about raising the spot price component in the formula.
At the same time, the parties stressed the role of the Austrian Baumgarten as an important hub for Russian gas exports. (Now this is the main point of delivery of Russian gas to Central Europe.)
That is already Austria fears that after the change of the route status of the hub will fall. And, accordingly, will try to get gas for the new route still came to her.
Northern Europe: instead of the tube LNG
At the same time news came from northern Europe. “Gazprom” is not going to expand the “Nord Stream”. (This expansion was to bring the “Nord Stream” to the UK.) In fact, to expand silly when he is half-empty “Nord Stream” in Germany. As well as the contact tubes with Britain in the current realities.
On top of this it means that the total European market to be delivered less Russian gas – which means that no southbound exports will be more difficult to manage.
A few days earlier, in “Gazprom” was a meeting on the project “Baltic LNG” in Ust-Luga. Capacity – 10 million tons per year, expandable to 15 million. The final investment decision has been made yet, but monopoly, apparently determined.
In the context of an expected surplus of LNG plant construction market can be explained by the following considerations.
The first plans for bunkering LNG: to take place in the emerging LNG market in the region as a marine fuel.
Secondly, we can offer the same UK LNG instead of pipeline gas – if strongly needed.
Third, the LNG can be insured in the case in southern Europe, all countries in the period will not be able to finish its pipeline infrastructure. Then the missing volumes can be run on the European market through one of the LNG terminals. 10 million tons of LNG – is 14 billion cubic meters of gas.