Turkish state-owned gas company Botas has launched the construction of a gas interconnector between Turkey and Bulgaria, Sofia-based media reported. Botas has started horizontal drilling for the 175-kilometre gas pipeline, the Bulgarian National Radio reported last week. The interconnector is expected to be completed in 2015 and to carry Russian gas which reaches Turkey via the Blue Stream pipeline, BNR added. Earlier this month, the Bulgarian and Turkish energy ministers signed a memorandum of understanding on the construction of the gas link. The Bulgarian section of the gas interconnector will be built by the state-owned gas transmission system operator Bulgartransgaz. On Tuesday Russian gas giant Gazprom said that the deputy chairman of the company's management committee, Alexander Medvedev, and Turkey's energy minister Taner Yildiz discussed in Ankara the options of increasing the capacity of the Blue Stream gas pipeline from 16 billion cubic metres (bcm) to 19 bcm a year. The 1,213 km-long Blue Stream gas pipeline was launched in December 2002 for direct gas deliveries to Turkish gas consumers via the bottom of the Black Sea.