Turkey becomes Gazprom's second largest customer

By bne IntelliNews October 2, 2014

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Turkey could move into second place after Germany as an importer of Russian gas in 2014, according to Gazprom's sales statistics, underscoring a shift in it sales towards Asia and away from Europe. Turkey could buy 30 billion cubic meters (bcm) of Russian gas in 2014, up from 26.6bcm in 2013, according to Gazprom.

Turkey already moved ahead of Italy in the first quarter of 2014, scoring 7.6bcm gas from Russia against Italy's 7.23bcm, and continued its lead in the second quarter with 13.1bcm against Italy's 12.9bcm, Gazprom said.

Following a meeting with Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz on October 1, Gazprom said in a statement that it would raise the volume of gas transported by Blue Stream - an offshore gas pipeline from Russia to Turkey - to full capacity, in order to serve the growing demand from Turkey. The pipeline operated at 85% capacity in 2013. 

"Turkey is our fastest-growing market from the point of view of supplies. Gazprom has always responded to growing demand for gas from Turkey by increasing supplies via Blue Stream. Today's decision will enable the Turkish economy to reach new frontiers," Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller was quoted as saying by Interfax. The Blue Stream pipeline is owned equally by Gazprom and Italian energy concern Eni through the Blue Stream Pipeline Company.

Increasing supplies would require modernising the Beregovaya compressor station and the Durusu gas terminal. In 2013, Turkey consumed some 27bcm of Russian gas, of which 13.7bcm came through the Blue Stream pipeline.

Russia has reduced gas supplies to Europe, because of European countries re-exporting some of their gas to Ukraine, and some of the extra gas now flowing to Turkey may be taken from these volumes, say experts.

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