Region: TurkStream gas pipeline – USA sanctions come into force

, SEE Energy News

The United States has always declared itself against TurkStream project. Overriding President Donald Trump’s veto of a broader Defense Department spending authorization bill, the US Congress approved imposing sanctions against companies involved in the construction of Nord Stream 2 and TurkStream natural gas pipelines. The sanctions aim to derail construction of the remaining offshore portion of Nord Stream 2 pipeline, as well as the construction of the extension of TurkStream pipeline. The measure allows the administration to impose sanctions against any entity that is involved in construction, provides underwriting and insurance to pipe-laying vessels or facilitates ship retrofitting and upgrading. The bill grants the United States flexibility to waive sanctions on national security grounds, while also exempting European Government entities from sanctions and requiring consultations with those Governments before sanctions are applied. Potentially targeted companies will have until 31 January to wind down participation in the pipeline projects to avoid sanctions.

The TurkStream gas pipeline, launched in January 2020, passes along the bottom of the Black Sea from Russia to Turkey. In addition, there is a transit land part to the border with neighboring countries, from where the gas is already exported to Greece, Bulgaria, North Macedonia. Later, after the completion of the construction of all the infrastructure, the gas reaches Serbia and Hungary. The pipeline is 930 kilometers long, with the capacity of 31.5 billion cubic meters of gas per year, of which half is intended for Europe. Serbia and Bulgaria launched their sections of TurkStream expansion, dubbed Balkan Stream, on 1 January 2021. Soon after the pipeline was put into operation, Washington sent a clear signal that they were against the extension of the pipeline to the EU through Bulgarian territory. The United States is opposed to the second line of the TurkStream pipeline, intended to deliver gas to southeastern Europe via Bulgaria, because it is seen as a geostrategic project of Russia.