The ability to reduce gas supplies to Turkey

By Daniel Rozanov

Given that Russia - the main supplier of natural gas to Turkey, and Turkey - the second largest supplier of client "Gazprom", it is difficult to imagine that the supply of natural gas is completely stopped due to geopolitical tensions between the two countries. Nevertheless, we should not rule out a temporary reduction in supply from Russia under some technical pretext in winter as political blackmail.


In this case, Turkey is likely to be quite difficult to balance the gas supply due to technical limitations mentioned above. And yet, if the supply of Russian natural gas will be limited, it can only accelerate the fulfillment of Turkey's plans to diversify its supplies. Although the next two years to significantly reduce imports of Russian gas is difficult, since 2018 Turkey can get away from over-dependence on Russia by the completion of a number of infrastructure projects. This can serve, for example, the commissioning of a new storage facility near Lake Tuz (1 billion cubic meters. M / year), increasing distribution and LNG capacity increase reinjection. Also in 2018 such large international projects like Trans-Anatolian gas pipeline (6 billion cubic meters. M / year) and the Turkish-Kurdish pipeline (10 billion cu. M / year) should lead the Turkish market large volumes of gas. This may be another opportunity to diversify supplies. By 2019, the expiry date of the contract on the transit between Russia and Ukraine, the latter may appear spare capacity to transport gas. Today, Ukraine imports a significant volumes of gas for European (German re-export of Russian raw materials), and they continue to increase with time southeastern countries, including Turkey, may be able to import additional volumes of gas already constructed "West line» (West Line). And last but not least - the contracts, "Gazprom" will be completed after 2020, it is unlikely that they will be extended if the political tension between the two countries will grow into a new gas crisis.


In short, if in the short term the Russian gas to Turkey - is a necessary evil, then everything will change in the medium. Of course, if Moscow cut gas supplies in winter, it will create a big problem. But this situation also push Ankara for the first time to make serious measures to reduce dependence on Russia. Moreover, the gas war is likely to spur Turkey's intention to create a free, liquid and competitive market for gas, as well as integrate it into Europe, from whom he was separated in 2008. In any case, after 2018 the share of Russian gas to the Turkish market will begin to decline sharply as the completion of new infrastructure projects, and in the early 2020s Russia will lose the position of the main supplier of the republic, when using gas as a political weapon this winter.








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