Firms can apply to import Russian gas

Firms can apply to import Russian gas

ANKARA - Anatolia News Agency
Firms can apply to import Russian gas

This file photo shows shareholders of Gazprom at a meeting. Turkish firms are allowed to import Russian gas. AFP photo

The Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EPDK) has announced that Turkish private companies will now be allowed to import up to 6 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually, on condition that the companies sign deals with Russian energy giant Gazprom.

The starting date for such Russian gas imports will be January 1, 2013, according to an announcement published yesterday in the Official Gazette. The deadline to apply to the EPDK for an import license or licenses is the close of business on Aug. 10, the announcement said.

Storage obligation
The imported gas will be delivered in Malkoçlar district on the Turkish-Bulgarian border. The importer companies will be obliged to store up to 10 percent of Turkey’s annual imported natural gas supply. This will continue for five years starting from the date import activity commences.

Turkey and Russia signed a deal in 1986 that paved the way for Turkish companies to import natural gas via the Western Pipeline from Russia, at volumes of up to 6 billion cubic centimeters per year. The deal expired as of the end of 2011.

Twenty-six companies applied to the EPDK for import licenses last year, but none could secure an import license as they did not sign deals with Gazprom.

The Western Pipeline runs from western Turkey to Russia via Ukraine. The pipeline meets the natural gas consumption needs of Istanbul and the surrounding regions. It accounts for nearly 15 percent of the total natural gas consumption in Turkey.