Aug. 17 (UPI) -- Russia natural gas company Gazprom said it's scaling up its deliveries to consumers that would be fed eventually by a pipeline through Turkey.
The company said its natural gas shipments to countries outside the Russian commonwealth were up 12 percent year-over-year for the period ending August 15. By countries, gas exports to Bulgaria were up 11 percent, up 13.2 percent to Greece, up 24.4 percent to Hungary, up 40.8 percent and 22.4 higher year-over-year for Turkey, according to Russia news agency Tass.
The first leg of the pipeline would primarily feed the Turkish market, with the second leg expected for southern European demand. Gazprom in December approved a three-and-a-half-year loan to aid the construction of the planned pipeline.
The pipeline's route would mirror the now-abandoned South Stream project, run under the Black Sea to Turkey and then to the European market. South Stream was scrapped because of concerns about Russian business practices expressed by some European countries.
The Turkish project has moved in fits and starts because of issues related to the Syrian conflict as bilateral trade between Russia and Turkey declined more than 30 percent last year.
Gazprom reported a 6.1 percent decline in first quarter profits compared with last year because of higher operating expenses and lower market prices.