Turkey to play strategic role in global energy: Erdogan

Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Wednesday "Turkish economy grew 6.6 percent in the first quarter of 2008. Turkey continues to grow on a healthy and strong platform", reported World Bulletin

Speaking at the inauguration of the 5th Turkey Energy Forum, taking place under the theme of "New Regional Power in Energy: Turkey," in Istanbul, Erdogan said that "according to the International Energy Agency, the world's demand for energy would go up by 50 percent by the year 2030. The estimations suggest that the world has oil reserves that would dry up in 41 years and natural gas reserves that would be fully consumed in 63 years."

"The demand for energy continues to grow globally. Energy resources being used mostly are rapidly decreasing. The world is getting more polluted due to high consumption of energy resources," Erdogan said.

"Turkey grew 6.7 percent annually in the past five years. Turkey's energy consumption also grew 5.5 percent in the past five years. Since 2002, the demand for electricity grew 58 percent while the demand for natural gas grew 150 percent. Turkey ranked second after China with these energy figures," Ergodan said.

"Turkey's demand for energy would increase by 6 percent annually until the year 2020," Erdogan noted.

"Turkey has become a country that plays a strategic role in global energy demand and energy supplies. As a country with a rapidly growing economy, Turkey is obliged to meet its energy needs. Turkey must establish, implement and continue relevant energy policies," Erdogan said.

"Our government completed the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Oil Pipeline. We have also completed the natural gas pipeline that carries natural gas from Azerbaijan to Turkey," Erdogan said.

"We are presently working on the Samsun-Ceyhan Oil Pipeline and the Arabic Natural Gas Pipeline. During our government's rule, we managed to carry natural gas to Europe via Greece. The natural gas pipeline will extend to Italy in the year 2012," Erdogan said.

"Another project that will facilitate the transfer of natural gas to Europe is the Nabucco Project. In a short period of time, we would sign an agreement with the governments of countries that will be a part of the Nabucco Project. Such projects are making Turkey a global player in energy issues," Erdogan also said.

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