Turkey, Russia agree on gas flow increase

Turkey, Russia agree on gas flow increase

MOSCOW - Reuters
Turkey, Russia agree on gas flow increase

Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yıldız (R) meets with Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller (L) as part of his Moscow visit that started yesterday. AA photo

Russian natural gas producer Gazprom said Oct. 1 it has agreed with Turkey to increase the capacity of the Blue Stream underwater gas pipeline to 19 billion cubic meters (bcm), from 16 bcm.

Gazprom also reiterated that its gas flows to Turkey were set to reach a record high of 30
billion cubic meters this year from 25.6 bcm last year on rising demand.

The agreement came as Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yıldız held discussions with Russian counterpart Alexander Novak, Gazprom’s CEO Alexey Miller, Sergey Kiriyenko, CEO of the state-owned Russian nuclear company Rosatom and Elena Burmistrova, the head of Gazpromexport, during his visit to the Russian capital of Moscow.

Turkish demand for gas has more than tripled since 2000 to almost 47 billion cubic meters, with further increases expected as both its economy and population grow. Turkey consumes 45 billion cubic meters of gas annually, with nearly 60 percent of it being imported from Russia. The country’s total energy bill stands at around $60 billion annually.

Turkey has asked Gazprom for gas price cuts, however it was not immediately clear if the Russian company had agreed to any concessions.

The increase came as Turkey, the second-largest consumer of Russian gas after Germany, sided with Gazprom on the South Stream undersea gas pipeline project to Europe.

The future of the 2,400-km (1,490-mile) line from Russia via the Black Sea to Bulgaria and from there further into the European Union, avoiding Ukraine, has been cast into doubt due to Russia’s role in Ukrainian conflict.