Azerbaijan – the sole reliable supplier of gas to Turkey
Baku, Azerbaijan, June 4
By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:
Turkey's dependence on energy supplies from other countries forces Ankara to work on the issue of importing gas from a variety of sources. Therefore, Turkey has been in recent years trying to comply with a principle whereby the country shouldn't depend on any one source of supply.
Turkey calls this a balanced energy policy and intends to comply with it in the future. Ankara, in this sense, can be of course understood.
But in some cases this balanced policy is not beneficial for Ankara.
Currently, Turkey imports gas from Iran, Russia and Azerbaijan. Ankara also has agreements with Algeria and Nigeria for the supply of 4.4 billion and 1.2 billion cubic meters of liquefied gas per year, respectively.
But almost all the countries, except for Azerbaijan, have serious problems with Ankara on the issue of gas prices.
Russia is one of such countries. Moscow has so far refused to provide a discount to the Turkish state pipeline company Botas.
Botas was expecting that Russia would set an acceptable discount of 15 percent for the gas supplied to Turkey. But Gazprom agreed to give discount only to private Turkish companies. Over a third of Russian gas imports accounts for those private companies.
In an interview with Trend Agency, the deputy general manager of the Turkish state-owned BOTAS Petroleum Pipeline Corporation, Nedim Ozyol said that currently the parties have many unresolved technical issues, and without a mutual agreement it would be impossible to settle this matter.
BOTAS refused Russia's gas offer on March 18. The reason is that the Russian side demanded additional concessions from Turkey on construction of the Turkish Stream pipeline.
Ankara has also problems in this sphere with another country - Iran.
As it is known, Ankara appealed to the International Court of Arbitration in March 2012 regarding the price on the gas supplied from Iran.
After that, Iran demanded that Turkey withdraw the lawsuit from the International Court of Arbitration.
According to the Turkish media, Turkey buys Iranian gas at $490 per 1,000 cubic meters. The agreement on supply of Iranian gas to Turkey was signed in 1996. Turkey has contracts with Iran for the supply of 10 billion cubic meters of gas per year.
Iraq can become another real gas supplier to Turkey. But the problems can occur with this country too. And the main problem is that currently the country is experiencing chaos. There is a real threat from the Islamic State terrorist organization.
Even if Iraq begins exporting gas to Turkey in the current situation, it will fail to ensure security of supplies in its territory.
Ankara and Erbil (capital of the Kurdish autonomy in Northern Iraq) have a contract for the gas supply. In accordance with the agreement, it is expected that Iraq will begin exporting gas to Turkey in early 2016. Initial gas supply volumes will amount to 30 billion cubic meters a year.
Taking into account Ankara's real problems with gas suppliers, it is clear that today Azerbaijan is the only country Turkey can rely on in the uninterrupted supply of gas.
Edited by CN
Rufiz Hafizoglu is the head of Trend Agency's Arabic news service, follow him on Twitter: @rhafizoglu