Russia's plan to create ‘gas hub’ in Turkey reportedly entangled in squabbles

By bne IntelIiNews September 14, 2023

Russia's plan to create a "gas hub" in Turkey to replace lost sales to Europe is reportedly entangled in squabbles over who should be in charge of it.

Two sources familiar with the project were reported by Reuters on September 14 as saying the scheme faces delays.

Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed the idea for the gas hub in October last year. His proposal came not long after still unexplained explosions damaged the Nord Stream gas pipelines linking Russia to Germany across the Baltic Sea.

"There are managerial issues [with this gas hub project], they are fighting for who should manage the hub," one source was cited as saying on condition of anonymity.

Russia sees the hub as a way to re-route gas exports to European countries, as part of the economic backlash to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, have drastically cut their buying. Moscow hopes to sell some gas via Turkey to countries that would stop short of buying gas directly from Russia, though countries that are determined to drop their imports of Russian gas to zero have warned that the hub could be used to deceive some buyers as to the true origins of the gas they were receiving. Gas could be “masked”, for instance, by mixing. Turkey also imports gas from Azerbaijan and Iran via pipelines and takes an increasing number of shipments of liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Russia supplies gas to Turkey via the Blue Stream and TurkStream pipelines across the Black Sea. Supplies of gas via TurkStream are further piped to countries including Hungary, Greece, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Romania and Serbia.

Putin has also said Russia wants to set up an electronic platform for gas trading in Turkey.

Russia’s Gazprom has delivered a suggested road map for the hub to Turkish energy company Botas.

The EU in March committed to cutting gas imports from Russia by two-thirds within a year. 

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