wins economic battle with USA launching Blue Stream natural gas
The gas pipeline
known as Blue Stream, an ambitious, highly expensive and complicated
project, which created a direct gas link between Russia and Turkey
avoiding the territory of other states, was officially opened.
President Putin, Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi and the head
of the Turkish government, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, gathered for
the official meeting in the town of Samsun, Turkey, to celebrate
the launching of the grand project.
has marked a new era in the construction of pipelines to transport
Russian natural gas directly to foreign consumers. Russia has
recently started the construction of another pipeline, which will
let Russia deliver its gas to Europe avoiding the territory of
the three Baltic States. The pipeline will deliver gas to Great
Britain too - the market, which Russia could not access before.
of the Blue Stream project started on December 15, 1997 when the
governments of Russia and Turkey signed an adequate agreement.
One may say that Blue Stream has been functioning since 2003,
albeit at reduced capacity. The pipeline will deliver 4.5 billion
cubic meters of natural gas by the end of the current year; the
transportation capacity will be increased to 16 billion cubic
meters a year in the future. Blue Stream's length totals 1,213
kilometers - 400 kilometers of pipes have been laid on the Black
Sea floor, which made the project become the world's deepest undersea
is abundant with innovative technological solutions. However,
the project was predicted to fade during the first stage of its
implementation, for it touched upon too many interests during
doing its best to become one of the regional centers in the beginning
of the 1990s. In addition, the Turkish government was interested
in exporting natural gas to Europe, particularly to Greece, Bulgaria,
Italy and to Balkan states. Turkey was offered three variants
to satisfy the nation's needs in gas by the end of the 20th century.
The American variant stipulated gas deliveries from the republic
of Turkmenistan along the Trans-Caspian pipeline via the territory
of Georgia, Azerbaijan and the Black Sea. Natural gas could also
be delivered to Turkey through the Russian-Italian Blue Stream
project, and from Iran.
goals, which included the country's access to new European markets,
were added with new objectives: to secure its interests against
the background of unpredictable behaviour of its neighbours. The
Russian natural gas is basically transported abroad via the territory
of Ukraine. Russia had to pay transit expenses to Ukraine and
suffer considerable losses of the raw material during the transportation
process. President Putin had to decline his diplomatic manners
when he recommended the Ukrainian government not to steal gas
are rather understandable too: this country is rich with gas,
which makes the gas export one of the most important factors in
the economy of Iran. The USA openly dislikes the Blue Stream project:
the US administration funded trans-Caspian projects for oil and
gas transportation from former USSR's Caucasus and Central Asia
to Turkey, passes Russia by.
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