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Recapping Turkey’s 2016 pipeline projects

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World Pipelines,

A number of Turkish oil and gas pipeline projects have been the topic of conversation this year. Read on to see a recap of the Iraq-Turkey pipeline, Turkey-Israel pipeline, TANAP and TurkStream projects.

Iraq-Turkey pipeline

Back in mid 2015, the Iraq-Turkey (Kirkuk-Ceyhan) pipeline was shut down after attempts of theft and sabotage on the line. Following on from the shutdown, on 6 January 2016, it was confirmed that payment had been received from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) for the crude oil exported through Kurdish region of the line.

However, flow in the line was once again halted after an attack on 17 February 2016. Due to security concerns, the line did not reopen until early March. In light of the attacks, the Turkish government reinforced security measures on the line, which aims limit downtime of the pipeline in the future.

Turkey-Israel pipeline

After 6 years of conflict, Turkey and Israel finally reached a rapprochement. As a result, the countries now hope to export gas from Israel’s offshore Mediterranean oilfields to Turkey.

In July, the Turkey-Israel pipeline project – Israel and Turkey’s project of interest – was met with opposition from Cyprus. The pipeline intends to transport Israeli natural gas through Cypriot territory and into Turkey, so must have approval before commencing pipelaying operations. Thus, in order for the pipeline to be constructed and approved, Turkey had to mend its relationship with Cyprus. The soured relationship was caused by a Turkish invasion in 1974, which split Cyprus into two parts; Turkish-Cypriot and the Greek-Cypriot.

However, Cyprus must first unite before any decision on the pipeline can be made. However, the two Cypriot enclave governments hold differing opinions on the pipeline project and, as a result, have not come to a decision on the country’s unification.

In a turn of events, on 31 August 2016, Cyprus and Egypt signed a bilateral agreement that will enable Cypriot natural gas to be transported via an underwater pipeline to Egypt.

It’s reported that Cyprus believes the Egyptian exporting route as opposed to the Turkey-Israel pipeline is more feasible. The pipeline is scheduled to go in-service between 2020 and 2022.

More recently though, and following earlier meetings that were held in October, Israel has been in talks with Turkey about the construction of the Turkey-Israel pipeline.

The meetings were reportedly about a potential framework agreement between the countries, which called for a line to be laid by April 2017. However, at present, this completion date seems unlikely.

Additionally, Yuval Steinitz (Israel’s Minister of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources) stated that discussions with Egypt were also ongoing. He also mentioned that Israel has finalised an agreement with Greece, Cyprus and Italy for gas pipelaying operations, from Leviathan via Cyprus, Crete and southern Greece to Europe. However, Steinitz assured that despite expanding its regional energy co-operation links, “the Turkish option is very important [to Israel].”


Construction of the Trans Anatolian natural gas pipeline (TANAP) project officially began in March 2015. However, construction of the line is still ongoing and contracts are still being awarded. The line is expected to be complete in 3Q18, and is set to carry gas from the Shah Deniz II field to the Caspian regions and Europe. However, it’s flow will primarily be to Turkey.

In July 2016, it was announced that SapuraKencana Petroleum Berhad had been awarded an EPCI contract for the offshore pipelines and fibre optic cables for TANAP. Similarly, Honeywell Process Solutions stated on 1 December that the company had been contracted to provide integrated control and safety system for TANAP. The system will ensure that compressor station operations are conducted safely and reliably along the line.

Recently and according to Turkey’s Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Berat Albayrak, TANAP is predicted to be 55% complete by the end of 2016. The line will allow for Turkey to become an energy hub and will provide an alternative route for European gas supply.


Gazprom’s TurkStream is a major pipeline project. It is set to transport 63 billion m3 of natural gas from Russia to south Europe, passing through Turkey.

In December 2015, Gazprom reported that construction of the pipeline project had been suspended. The line was halted due to Turkey downing a Russian warplane on 24 November 2015 near the Turkey-Syrian border. As a result of the suspension, it was reported that line would not resume construction for at least a year. Yet, the project has recently become more attractive to both Turkey and Russia.

In early August, both Turkey and Russia were discussing the potential construction of two gas lines within TurkStream. Since then, a number of working meetings have occurred, discussing the project and additional agreements. Then, on 8 September 2016, TurkStream received its first permits. A number of permits and agreements then followed.

On 30 September 2016, Gazprom reported that it had received a survey permit for two strings of TurkStream’s offshore section in Turkey’s waters, which was an important permit for the project. On 10 October 2016, Russian and Turkish officials signed an agreement concerning the construction of TurkStream’s underwater gas pipelines, which are scheduled to be built under the Black Sea by late 2019. One of the lines will transport natural gas to Turkey, whilst the other will deliver gas to western Europe. On 5 December 2016, the Turkish parliament signed another agreement with Russia regarding TurkStream. A bill was passed in favour of construction, with 210 out of 223 lawmakers voting for the project. Finally, and most recently, Russia has approved a draft legislation that will enable the country to ratify its agreement with Turkey on the pipeline project. Construction of the line is set to begin in 2017 and end in late 2019.

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