Turkey seeks more Maghreb resources for diversification
ALGERIS / TRIPOLI
An LNG tanker is seen passing through Turkey’s Dardanalles Strait. A high capacity LNG facility in the region may cut risky tanker traffic on Turkey’s straits, says Energy Minister Taner Yıldız.AA photoTurkey’s energy minister has taken steps on his current Maghreb tour in a bid to diversify Turkey’s supplies with a renewed liquefied natural gas (LNG) deal with Algeria and fresh petrol talks with Libya.
The minister will also be visiting Qatar, where he will try to attract LNG investments in Turkey.
Algeria and Turkey have decided to a sign a 10-year renewal valid from 2014 on in which the former will deliver 4 billion cubic meters of gas annually to Turkey, Algerian Energy Minister Youcef Yousfi said Jan. 5.
Turkey is facing fresh difficulties in its natural gas supply due to the Western sanctions on Iran, its second largest provider. The country is highly dependent on Russian natural gas as it produces around 45 percent of its ever-rising electricity at gas-burning power facilities. The country is waiting for the completion of the Trans Anatolia Pipeline (TANAP) project, which will carry Azeri gas to the Aegean province of İzmir.
Algeria’s APS news agency said it was “decided to extend the agreement by 10 years, with the possibility of increasing the volume of gas exported.”
Algeria and Turkey signed a 20-year agreement in 1988 on the sale and purchase of 4 billion cubic meters of gas annually in a deal that came into effect in 1994.
“We have said we wish to increase our imports to 6 billion cubic meters a year. Everything will depend on Algeria’s export capacity,” Yıldız said.
Turkey also wants to buy Algerian gas at spot markets, Yıldız told journalists before leaving for the North African country.
Speaking after a meeting in Algiers with the visiting Yıldız, Yousfi told reporters that Algeria’s Sonatrach and Turkey’s state-run Botaş have “already decided on the conditions and terms of the new agreement,” Agence France-Presse reported.
Turkey wants TPAO, the state-run oil firm, which has been increasing its onshore and offshore activities, to work in Algeria, Yıldız said, adding that entering some tenders with Algeria’s oil firm Sonatrach was also on the table.
Algeria’s oil production is 1.8 million barrels, which is two times Turkey’s consumption, Yıldız said.
“We will suggest that Qatar invest in Turkey,” Yıldız said. “We will suggest to them that they found an LNG facility in Turkey.”
An LNG facility in Saros by the Dardanelles Strait would ease tanker traffic in Turkey’s straits and this would be good for Bulgaria and Greece also, he said. “An LNG facility with a minimum annual capacity at 5 billion to 6 billion cubic meters would be appropriate.”
After meeting with Libyan Oil Minister Abdulhadi al-Arusi yesterday, Yıldız said Turkey would always support the country with its entrepreneurs from the construction, infrastructure and energy sectors. “We will build energy policies all together.”
Libya was the largest single market for Turkish contractors before the popular unrest in the country that toppled leader Moammar Gadhafi last year.