Gazprom PJSC has started the pipe laying process for the TurkSream project through which natural gas will be supplied in a transit-free system from Russia to Turkey and its neighbouring countries.

The pipe laying process is being carried by pipe laying vessel Pioneering Spirit. Russian Federation President Vladimar Putin and Gazprom PJSC management committee chairman Alexey Miller have visited the firing line where welding and coating processes are being performed.

This pipeline project is of significant importance for Turkey as natural gas is the main source of energy for the country, through which it generates about 38% of its electricity.

Apart from producing electricity, about 12 million Turkish households use natural gas to heating and cooking purposes.

The two countries, Turkey and Russia signed an intergovernmental agreement last October to initiate the project. South Stream Transport, a subsidiary of Gazprom has been handed over the responsibility to construct the pipeline’s offshore section. This May, the Audacia vessel started construction of the TurkStream gas pipeline in the Russian nearshore.

Allseas Group was given the responsibility of project implementation including design, material and equipment procurement, construction and commissioning.

Pioneering Spirit is one of the largest construction vessel in the world, 477 m long and 124 m wide, designed for deep-water pipe-laying, installation and removal of large oil and gas offshore platforms.

Gazprom PJSC management committee chairman Alexey Miller said: “Pioneering Spirit — the largest construction vessel in the world — will embark on a challenging task. It will be constructing the deep-water section of the TurkStream gas pipeline. This is a new reliable route for the delivery of Russian gas to Turkey and further to Southern and South-Eastern Europe.

“Natural gas is of no less important to Southern and South-Eastern Europe either. The drop in the gas production and the necessity to decrease the share of coal in energy supply of the Balkan countries creates the ground for sustainable growth of natural gas demand in this part of Europe.”

Image: Gazprom starts construction of TurkStream offshore pipeline project. Photo: Courtesy of South Stream Transport B.V.