Turkey's plan to reduce energy dependence on Russia
The Turkish government has worked out a series of measures to reduce to a minimum its dependence on Russian energy sources. The plan of diversification of this so-called “energy basket” will take 2-2.5 years, according to government daily Sabah.
On Monday, the Turkish government discussed the plan, which it will unveil in the future, to minimize the consequences of the economic sanctions introduced against Turkey by Russia.
The newspaper also reported that the diversification plan envisages acceleration of construction of the Trans-Anatolian Pipeline, which will be used to export Azerbaijani gas to Turkey and Europe, and to export liquefied gas from Qatar, in addition to Algeria and Nigeria. Turkey also plans to increase its gas storage capacities and build new storages.
Meanwhile, Turkey's Milliyet newspaper reported that Ankara also has a “plan B,” which envisages purchase of gas in northern Iraq (Iraqi Kurdistan). For this purpose it is planned to hold bids to build an 185-km-long gas pipeline in Shirnak province bordering on Iraq. Natural gas from northern Iraq is first of all planned to be used to satisfy the needs of Turkey's southeastern provinces Diyarbakir and Mardin, where the pipeline construction will begin. The first gas from northern Iraq is expected to be exported via the new pipeline within 2-3 years. At the first stage annual volume is planned to be 10 billion cubic meters (BCM), and by early 2020 it should increase up to 20 billion BCM.
According to Milliyet, Turkey consumes about 50 BCM of natural gas a year and almost half of this volume (48.2%) is used to generate power. Twenty percent of gas is used to heat the houses. In 2014, Turkey consumed 48.7 BCM of gas, the newspaper reports.
Last year, Turkey imported 49.2 BCM of natural and liquefied gas, of which 26.9 BCM was exported by Russia, 8.9 BCM by Iran and 6 BCM by Azerbaijan. The import of liquefied gas totaled 7.3 BCM.
In 2014, 65% of gas was exported to Turkey via gas pipelines from Russia.
“We will hope that our relationships with Russia will get better and it is not going to play with the gas pipeline tap,” writes Milliyet's economics observer Gunger Uras.
Turkish experts say that suspension of Russian gas exports is unlikely in the current conditions.
“Russia has concluded the gas agreements and I do not think that it is going to terminate them, because this is fraught with fines,” Nejet Pamir, Turkey’s representatives at the World Energy Council, leading expert of energy security issues, told TACC.