Russia-Turkey Pipeline Seems Dead

June 2013, Vol. 240, No. 6

The Samsun-Ceyhan oil pipeline project looks to have been shelved after a Russian minister told Turkish media it would be uneconomical.

The move appears to be part of a push by Moscow to cement ties with Turkey – a strategic lynchpin in the tussle between the EU and Russia over oil and gas from the Eurasian region.

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said shipping crude via the narrow Bosphorus channel is up to 40% cheaper. “It depends on whether this project will be competitive enough to survive,” Novak said. “However, it does not seem so for the time being.”

The 550-km pipeline was to carry 1.5 Mbp/d primarily to ease the dangers involved in shipping through the congested Bosphorus. The route would run across central Turkey to link the Black Sea with the Mediterranean. In March Turkey blacklisted Italy’s ENI – a partner in Samsun-Ceyhan alongside Turkey’s Calik and Russia’s Rosneft and Transneft.