The debt load owed to Gazprom (Moscow/GAZP) by Turkey’s government-run natural gas monopoly Botas has not reached $27.5bn and there are no negotiations for a debt restructuring plan with the Russian company, Botas has said in a statement.
Botas (@botastr) put out the statement this week in response to claims that surfaced on Turkey’s HalkTV.
In 2022, Turkey’s overall natural gas consumption fell 11% y/y to 54bn cubic metres (bcm) while imports rose by 7% y/y to 55 bcm.
Russia took a 39% share in Turkey’s gas imports with 22 bcm, while Botas imported 52 bcm of gas, accounting for 96% of Turkey’s gas imports.
Turkey’s government claims that it is on course to produce significant volumes of gas from fields found off the Black Sea coast.
Separately, it emerged on October 19 that, according to a letter seen by ICIS, the European Commission is probing a deal allowing Bulgaria’s gas incumbent Bulgargaz to access gas supplies via Turkey amid questions over potential EU competition rule breaches.
In the letter, the EU Directorate-General for Competition reportedly asks Bulgargaz to send a comprehensive list of documents, including information related to supply agreements with Botas and capacity bookings on the Turkish-Bulgarian border.
Furthermore, reported ICIS, it asked Bulgargaz to submit information on contracts agreed or subject to negotiations in which Bulgargaz may be acting as an exclusive agent or distributor for gas supply to Bulgaria or other EU member states.
There is concern that Bulgargaz may be the only EU-based company with access to natural gas via the Turkish infrastructure and is possibly acting as an intermediary for gas secured in Turkey and transited to the region.
The European Federation of Energy Traders has raised concerns about possible competition breaches.
The Bulgarian government that came to power in an April general election has, meanwhile, also commissioned an investigation into the supply deal. It said the probe was part of a wider review of the work of the previous caretaker administration. That review has been called on the alleged grounds that the matters in question lacked transparency and would cost the country billions.