Ankara, August 8 - Neftegaz.RU. Bulgaria's decision to increase the capacity of the Trans-Balkan pipeline shows the country's intent to capture the entire gas volume of the TurkStream project's 2nd line, according to Jonathan Stern, founder of the Natural Gas Research Program at Oxford Institute for Energy Studies.
Stern said that Bulgaria is not necessarily the most powerful candidate for TurkStream's 2nd line to transfer gas to Europe. The line will have the capacity to carry 15.75 billion cu m of natural gas per annum.
Turkey and Bulgaria officially launched the new Lozenets-Nedyalsko pipeline, paving the way for natural gas exports to Bulgaria and natural gas flow to Europe via Turkey. The new line will increase the current Trans-Balkan pipeline's capacity from 14 billion cu m to 15.75 billion cubic meters.
The new 20-kilometer Lozenets-Nedyalsko pipeline will allow reverse flows between the 2 countries.
Gazprom has 2 candidate transfer countries for the 2nd line of the giant pipeline, Stern explained «If Gazprom believes that the ultimate market for TurkStream 2's gas is Italy - then Greece is a better option. If Gazprom believes that the ultimate market for TurkStream 2's gas in Central Europe - then Bulgaria is a better option».
Russia is currently negotiating plans for TurkStream's second line with Greece and Bulgaria.