While Turkiye is paving the way to becoming a gas hub with the natural gas export agreements signed with Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Moldova during the year, it is also preparing to play a key role in Europe’s energy supply.
While European countries, which experienced a bottleneck in natural gas supply after the Russia-Ukraine crisis, sought gas supply from different countries, Turkiye took action to respond to this search with its pipeline infrastructure in line with its goal of becoming a natural gas center.
Natural gas export agreement with 4 countries
Turkiye, which currently ships gas to Greece via pipelines, signed natural gas export agreements with 4 countries in Europe this year.
Turkiye made its first natural gas export agreement of the year with Bulgaria in January. An agreement covering the annual export of 1.5 billion cubic meters of natural gas from Turkiye to Bulgaria for 13 years was signed.
Turkiye, which concluded negotiations with Hungary after Bulgaria, agreed on natural gas exports with this country in August.
With the agreement, Turkiye took a step to export gas via pipelines to a country without borders for the first time. According to the Hungarian press, Turkiye foresees 275 million cubic meters of gas export to this country.
Turkiye, which signed its third gas export agreement of the year with Romania, will export up to 4 million cubic meters of natural gas per day to Romania. Shipment was planned to begin on October 1 and end on March 31, 2025. Turkiye, which signed the fourth natural gas export agreement of the year with Moldova, will export 2 million cubic meters of natural gas daily to this country. It was decided that gas shipments to Moldova would start on October 1.
“We are becoming more and more a center for natural gas”
Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Alparslan Bayraktar attended the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Fair and Conference held in the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) yesterday and talked about Turkiye’s natural gas shipment to Europe. “As of today, we are sending gas to Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania and Moldova via the Western Balkan Pipeline. We are increasingly becoming a center for natural gas.” he announced it with his words.
The agreements are the “preliminary curtain” of the goal of becoming a natural gas trade center
Cenk Pala, Chief Energy Advisor of Ankara Crisis and Politics Research Center (ANKASAM), said in his evaluation: “Turkiye is achieving its goal, which we have been talking about for the last 26-27 years, of turning Turkiye into a corridor between east and west, and from there into a trade center in oil and natural gas, specifically Azerbaijan. What has been signed is actually the preliminary stage of this. This is beautiful work. BOTAS is doing good things. It paves the way for trade. It ensures the realization of this project, which we call the Southern Gas Corridor.”
Pala said that there was a big gap in the continent’s gas supply due to the deactivation of Nord Stream-1 and 2 after the Russia-Ukraine War and the European Union’s general attempt to move away from Russian gas. He said that it would take at least 5 years for Europe to try to fill this gap with countries such as Egypt, Libya and Algeria other than Turkiye, and that these countries would be insufficient to meet Europe’s needs due to the large amount of their own consumption.
Turkiye is the country that can respond to Europe’s gas needs fastest.
Pala stated that although Europe tries to meet its gas needs with liquefied natural gas (LNG), most of the agreements in the LNG market have been signed and shipments are largely directed to the Asian market, and that Turkiye is the country that will respond to Europe’s needs the fastest.
He stated that Turkiye can quickly ship 10-15 billion cubic meters of gas to Europe with the infrastructure it has with TANAP and BOTAS, or that European countries can benefit from Turkiye’s LNG infrastructure with an annual capacity of 25 billion cubic meters.
“Anyone who wants can go and buy LNG from Qatar, bring it and download it to one of BOTAS terminals. BOTAS will deliver it to Europe through these pipeline connections.” Pala said that a capacity increase should be made in the Western Pipeline in order to ship more gas apart from the existing agreements made by Turkiye.
“Turkiye can be an important trade center for Europe”
Regarding the recent agreements made by Turkiye, Erste Investment Oil and Gas Analyst Tamas Pletser said, “I think Turkiye can be an important center for Europe’s gas supply. Turkiye can access not only Russian crude oil and gas, but also Azerbaijan, Northern Iraq, the Israeli market, different LNG resources and even Cypriot gas in the long term.”
Stating that there are currently some bottlenecks in the Bulgarian section in the gas supply to Hungary, Pletser noted that such issues can be easily resolved.
Pointing out that Turkiye’s plan to become a natural gas center is not new, Pletser said that the Moscow administration does not currently have a pipeline to directly supply gas due to the Russia-Ukraine War.
Pletser said, “This plan can be revised again. I think this is extremely positive for Turkiye.”
Source: Trthaber / Prepared by Irem Yildiz