Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Turkey: Russia’s best client for gas

Turkey: Russia’s best client for gas

Turkey is going to be going to be paying $260 per 1,000 cubic metres of natural gas imported from Russia this year while European countries pay an average of $135, according to Russian natural gas exporter Gazprom.

Güncelleme: 14:25 TSİ 04 Ocak 2006 Çarşamba

ISTANBUL - Turkey is bound to Russian natural gas for 65 percent of its natural gas requirements.

Belarus pays the lowest rate at $47 per 1,000 cubic metres, Estonia $160, Moldova $160, Armenia and Georgia $110 and the average payment by European Union member states is $240.

In 2003, Turkey negotiated the price for Russian gas down from $148 down to $130 but in the last two years the price has doubled. The bad news is that the increase for 2006 is expected to be 25 percent.

On the other hand, it is said Iranian natural gas imports are ever dearer than the $260 per 1,000 cubic metres paid to Russia. Turkish officials said that due to the structure of the natural gas import deals that price went up by 50 percent in 2005.

Turkey is supplied with Russian natural gas through two pipeline, with 13 billion cubic metres coming through the western pipeline annually and six billion cubic metres via the Blue Stream pipeline laid beneath the Black Sea.

In an interview with television station NTV Wednesday, Fatih Birol, the chief economist for the International Atomic Energy Agency, said that depending on Russia to such a large extend for gas supplies was an significant risk and that Turkey should move towards other alternative energy resources such as nuclear power. Birol said that Turkey should seek other natural gas resources other than those of Russia.

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