Russian oil giant Gazprom has started construction of the TurkStream gas pipeline's offshore section in the Black Sea.
In the Russian coast, pipelaying is carried out by the Allseas-owned Audacia vessel, which will also be used for pipe pulling through microtunnels.
The multi-purpose pipe-laying vessel is used for laying small and medium-diameter pipelines of any length and at any depth.
TurkStream gas pipeline construction in the subsea area will be carried out by the Pioneering Spirit pipe-laying vessel.
Gazprom management committee chairman Alexey Miller said: “Today, we started the practical implementation of the TurkStream gas pipeline project: pipe-laying within the offshore section.
“By late-2019, our Turkish and European consumers will have a new, reliable source of Russian gas imports.”
In October last year, Russia and Turkey signed the intergovernmental agreement on the TurkStream project.
It will involve construction of a transit-free export gas pipeline from Russia to Turkey through the Black Sea and further to the neighbouring countries.
The pipelines' first section will provide gas to the Turkish consumers while the second string will deliver gas to southern and south-eastern Europe.
Each string will have the throughput capacity of 15.75 billion cubic metres of gas per annum.
Gazprom’s wholly owned subsidiary South Stream Transport is responsible for the construction of the gas pipeline's offshore section.
Allseas Group specialises in offshore pipe-laying and subsea construction focusing on overall project implementation which includes design, material and equipment procurement, construction, and commissioning.
Image: Layout of TurkStream gas pipeline route. Photo: courtesy of Gazprom.