The first pipeline of the TurkStream Offshore Gas Pipeline entered the Turkish Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) on 4 November 2017. Pioneering Spirit, world’s largest pipelay and construction vessel, marked the occasion by laying down on the seabed the section of the pipeline with Russian and Turkish flags, symbolizing the crossing of the EEZ border between the two countries.
The border crossing also marks the completion of construction of the two offshore lines within the Russian EEZ. In total 448 kilometers of the pipeline were laid down, equally divided over the two lines. Construction of nearly 25% of the offshore pipeline section has been realized in less than 6 months. This is in line with the planned construction schedule. First gas is expected to flow through TurkStream in December 2019.
Order of construction
After reaching the border of the EEZ with one line, Pioneering Spirit returned towards Anapa to commence deepwater pipelaying with the other line. Allseas’ vessel Audacia had already finalized the shallow water section for both lines late July. Due to the chosen order of pipelaying it was possible to finalize the main offshore construction activities in the Russian EEZ in one campaign.
Pioneering Spirit will now continue the pipelay activities with one pipeline all the way close to the Turkish landfall. The two TurkStream pipelines will come ashore in Turkey near the town of Kiyiköy, which is located approximately 100 kilometers west of Istanbul.
The average speed of pipelaying by Pioneering Spirit is in excess of 4 kilometers per day, with a record set by the Allseas crew on 1 November 2017 by constructing 5.15 kilometers of Turkstream pipeline in one day. The water depth at the EEZ boundary is approximately 2,171 meters, which is close to the deepest part of the TurkStream route (2,198 meters).
Milestones in 2017
- 7 May: Start of pipelaying in the shallow waters of the Black Sea by Allseas’ vessel Audacia.
- 31 May: Allseas’ vessel Pioneering Spirit crosses the Bosphorus and enters the Black Sea.
- 23 June: Start of pipelaying in the deepwater sections of the Black Sea by Pioneering Spirit, with President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin on board to give an official start of the works.
- 5 September: Contract for constructing the gas receiving terminal in Turkey awarded to Petrofac.
- 2 October: Approval of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the offshore section of TurkStream by the Turkish government.
- 4 November: TurkStream enters the Turkish Exclusive Economic Zone. Construction of both lines in the Russian EEZ is completed.
- TurkStream consists of two offshore pipelines, both with a capacity to transport up to 15.75 billion cubic meters (BCM) of natural gas per year (31.5 BCM in total).
- The offshore section runs approximately 930 kilometers through the Black Sea, from the Russian city of Anapa to the Turkish town of Kiyiköy.
- Gas transported via the first pipeline is destined for the Turkish market. The other pipeline will be directed towards the Turkish-European border.
- The deepest point on the route of the TurkStream offshore pipeline is approximately 2,200 meters.