STREAMS AND SCREAMS IN THE TRANS-EURASIAN PIPELINE GAME

STREAMS AND SCREAMS IN THE TRANS-EURASIAN PIPELINE GAMEBlue Stream is a double-pipe connection with a current total capacity of 16 billion cubic metre per annum. It is the only effective part of the east-west pipe frame so far. It is now operating at an average throughput of 8 billion m3/a. The link was opened in February 2003 and runs across the Black Sea between Stavropol north of the Caucasus and Durusu in the central north of Turkey over a total distance of 1213 kilometre including 396 kilometre under water. Construction costs have been 3.2 billion US dollar, just over half of which was spent on the offshore section. Supplies come from Gazprom, including gas and gas condensate purchased from the Karachaganak field string in the north of Kazakhstan.

Nord Stream, a twin pipe device like Blue Stream, has a planned capacity of 55 billion cubic metre per annum Its first throughput has been scheduled for 2011. Investors include future gas purchasers E.ON (Ruhrgas) and BASF subsidiary Wintershall of Germany and Gasunie of The Netherlands. The line is set to run from th Russian Baltic port of Vyborg to Germany’s northeastern port of Greifswald over a distance of 1220 kilometre. Costs have been calculated at €13.4 billion. Supplies are to come from Gazprom’s fields now under development in Russia’s Arctic and sub-Arctic zones.

South Stream is meant to supply up to 63 billion cubic metre of natural gas from the Russian Black Sea terminal of Beregovaya to th Bulgarian port of Burgas across the Black Sea, from where it will be distributed through a network further into the Balkans and the rest of the Mediterranean region as well as Central Europe. Its offshore section will have a length of about 900 kilometre. Cost calculations vary from €19 to €24 billion from beginning to end, including €8.6 billion for the offshore section. Operations should start by 2016. Supply sources come from Gazprom but include gas from Central Asia through Gazprom’s supply links through the Central Asia Pipeline String from Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

White Stream is a device schemed by Ukraine and meant to circumvent the central role played by Gazprom in gas supplies to Europe. The plan is to build a pipeline across the Black Sea to Supsa in southwestern Georgia to either the Crimea or the coast of Romania stretching over a distance of about 1100 kilometre in the latter case. The idea is to tap up to 8 billion cubic metre per annum from the existing pipeline from Sangachal on the Caspian coast of Azerbaijan, and eventually more from Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan from a trans-Caspian pipeline. Opening of the pipeline has been set as of 2016, with more or less cost calculations left to speculation.

Nabucco is the nickname given to a scheme to pump gas from Central Asia across the Caspian and the southern Caucasus through Turkey. It is schemed to stretch over 5300 kilometre from Erzerum in the central east of Turkey with eastward connections from the Caspian and northern Iraq. According to plan, it could transport up to 13 billion cubic metre per annum from east to west, initially mainly from Azerbaijan’s offshore Shah Deniz field. Throughput should start as of 2014, whereas costs come close to 8 billion euro.

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