Greece-Turkey pipeline to be postponed to Sept 15

ANKARA (Reuters) – The launch of a natural gas pipeline which will bring gas from Azerbaijan’s Shakh Deniz gas field to Europe has been postponed to September 15 from August 15, a senior energy official said yesterday. The official said the pipeline across the Meric River along the Turkish-Greek border had not been completed as planned. Ankara now plans to pump 70 million cubic meters of natural gas to Greece from the pipeline by the end of this year, versus 250 million cubic meters in original plans. The $300 million, 285-kilometer Turkey-Greece pipeline, which will link up with Italy, has an annual capacity of around 12 billion cubic meters and will hook up to a Southern European network supplying gas to countries in the region. «The plan had been to send the first gas on August 15 but Greece told Turkey that it could finish the construction of a 450-meter pipeline on the Meric River on September 15,» the official told Reuters. He official reiterated that 685,000 cubic meters of gas would be sent through the line daily. Turkey, which produces almost no natural gas or oil, is a major transit route from energy-rich Caspian and Central Asian countries to Europe.