Turkey Attempts to Pressure Russia, Iran, and Azerbaijan for Better Gas Deals

According to Petrostrategies, a French think-tank specializing in global energy research, Turkey will buy more liquid natural gas (LNG) from the U.S., in an attempt to try to exert pressure on Azerbaijan, Iran, and Russia for better gas deals. The article was published in the March 4 issue of the World Energy Weekly, a publication of Petrostrategies.

Turkey is interested in buying more US LNG, according to its Deputy Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Alparslan Bayraktar. Some of its long-term contracts to import 3 MMt/annum of LNG from Algeria will expire this year, while contracts for 16 bcm/annum of Russian gas (delivered by gasline) will come to an end in 2021. “We are on the brink of a new period during which Turkey will make significant decisions.

As policymakers in energy, we are expecting more flexible contract terms, given the copious amount of liquefied natural gas (LNG)”, said the Deputy Minister, adding that conventional gasline suppliers will have to adapt to a changing world. Turkey is thus trying to put pressure on Russia, Iran and Azerbaijan (pipeline gas suppliers) in order to obtain more favorable conditions and prices for BOTAS, Turkey’s state-owned oil and gas pipelines and trading company.

Turkey imports LNG from Algeria and Nigeria through long-term contracts, but also buys it from Qatar, Norway and the United States via the spot market. According to Ankara, US LNG could play a bigger role in the Turkish gas market in the future, as BOTAS wants to reconfigure its supply channels. Turkey became the main European market for US LNG last year.

The country currently has four import terminals (including two FSRUs) and is planning to install a fifth (also floating). Ankara’s statements are allowing it to play the competition card on the gas market while also pleasing Washington. In late February, Turkey decided to increase its purchases of US products in order to relieve trade (and political) tensions between the two countries.

Karen Harutyunyan

Read the article in Armenian

In picture aerial view of Ankara