Baku, Azerbaijan, August 26
By Aygun Badalova - Trend:
Turkey needs to diversify its gas import sources, Turcas Petrol Chairman Batu Aksoy said in an interview with Natural Gas Europe.
He mentioned that currently, Turkey's natural gas consumption is 46 billion cubic meters, and 98 percent of this gas is being imported from gas-rich neighbouring countries. The largest portion of natural gas imports came from Russia (60 percent), Iran (20 percent) and Azerbaijan (15 percent), according to Aksoy. The rest of natural gas (LNG) is being imported via tankers from Algeria and Qatar.
"Turkey needs to diversify its gas sources other than these countries", Aksoy said.
Talking about increasing tension in Ukraine-Russia relations, he said that Turkey's natural gas imports will not be affected by these tensions.
"Currently, Turkey imports natural gas from Western Route and Blue Stream, with 14 billion cubic meters and 16 billion cubic meters per year respectively. Also, Turkish Energy Ministry signed agreement with Russia to increase capacity in Blue Stream to 19 billion cubic meters per year from 2016", Aksoy said.
He also added that Iraqi natural gas may create a big advantage for Turkey. "Iraq is the third largest country with 3.6 trillion cubic meters of natural gas reserves...The cost of developing and shipping Iraqi gas will be much lower than Russian alternative, cause of much shorter pipelines", he said adding that after solving security/political issues, Iraqi natural gas may begin to flow via pipelines to Turkey in two years' time.
The discovery in Eastern Mediterranean (Leviathan) gas created a big chance for Turkey, according to Aksoy. The natural gas resources in Eastern Mediterranean can cover alone Turkey's gas needs for 25 years. The 7-10 billion cubic meters per year can be shipped to Turkey from 540 billion cubic meters natural gas field, he said.
However he could not say any specific timetable to begin gas imports from Eastern Mediterranean. "The project, feasibility and building of natural gas pipelines may last at least three years. Within this context, any pipeline from Iraq to Turkey may start in two years' time, while the others may last 3-5 years afterwards", AKsoy said.