Regarding Russia-Turkey Blue Stream Gas Pipeline Construction
Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation Mikhail Kasyanov is making a working tour of the Krasnodar Krai (province), the main aim of which is to have a look at the progress in constructing the Blue Stream gas pipeline, running across the bed of the Black Sea from Russia to Turkey.
On arrival at the Krasnodar airport he said the laying of the pipes of the 400-km pipeline will be completed in the second quarter of 2002, and in the 3rd quarter gas is due to begin flowing to Turkey.
Kasyanov said about 2 billion cubic meters of gas will be transported along the pipeline in 2002, and in 2003 4 billion cubic meters. Each year its capacity is planned to be raised by 2 billion cubic meters, with the design capacity of 16 billion cubic meters to be reached by 2008.
Commenting on the importance of the pipeline, Kasyanov noted that the Blue Stream is a unique project in terms of the employment of deep-water pipe-laying technologies and the use of a practically automatic compressor station. According to Kasyanov, the project's added importance is that about 80 percent of the gas used by Turkey comes from Russia today. "To keep the Turkish market is crucial for us, due to its dynamic growth," stressed the Chairman of the Government. Apart from that, Kasyanov stated the importance of supplies of Russian gas to the Balkans and Central Europe.
Kasyanov expressed satisfaction with the pace of the construction, reporting that 2.5 billion dollars is being invested in the project. Gas, he said, will be pumped over from the Zapolyarnoye field, which Gazprom is planning to put on stream in the next two weeks.
He also spoke of an intention to visit the pipe-laying ship Saipem-7000 during his trip, where he will watch the laying of pipes fitted with an enhanced protection against the large concentration of hydrogen sulfide on the sea bed.