Erdogan Says He's Agreed With Putin on Gas Hub, Europe Can Use Russian Gas Through Turkey
09:55 GMT 19.10.2022 (Updated: 11:04 GMT 19.10.2022)
Russian President Vladimir Putin brought up the idea of turning Turkey into Europe's largest natural gas hub last week. Last Friday, Turkey's president instructed the country's Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources to carry out a joint study with its Russian counterparts on the matter.
Moscow and Ankara have agreed on the creation of a major gas hub which will enable Europe to use Russian gas flowing through Turkey, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced.
"Right now Europe is thinking about how to ensure gas supplies in the coming winter period. We, thank God, do not have such a problem. Moreover, at our last meeting with Putin, we agreed to create a gas hub in Turkey. As Putin himself announced, Europe can use Russian gas through Turkey," Erdogan said at a meeting of the ruling Justice and Development Party in parliament on Wednesday.
Putin brought up the idea
of turning Turkey into a hub for the delivery of Russian natural gas at the Russian Energy Week forum last week, saying Moscow could move forward with such plans if European countries showed interest.
At a meeting with Erdogan a day later, the Russian president said
that the construction of a Turkish hub could help ensure steady supplies and bring down current exorbitant prices, and that Turkey has already proven to be "the most reliable route today for deliveries even to Europe."
18 October 2022, 10:35 GMT
Russia is currently capable of delivering up to 31.5 billion cubic meters of gas per year (cm3/yr) via the TurkStream pipeline running along the bottom of the Black Sea. The pipeline network has become a key route for Russian gas supplies to Turkey, and to the countries of Southern Europe as other major supply routes to European Union nations and the Balkans have been cut off one by one in recent months.
Last month, Russia's Nord Stream pipeline network was struck in a massive sabotage attack, cutting Europe off from up to 110 billion cm3/yr-worth of Russian gas supplies as winter approaches. In the spring, Poland turned the 33 billion cm3/yr capacity Yamal-Europe gas pipeline on in reverse flow. Soyuz, another overland pipeline, this one with a 26.1 billion cm3/yr capacity and running through Ukraine, has also experienced reduced flows amid the conflict raging in that country.
On Sunday, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller indicated that it would be possible to redirect gas volumes ordinarily delivered via Nord Stream through Turkey if the necessary infrastructure was created. Miller recalled that Russia has already amassed experience building a major pipeline system, the South Stream project, through the Black Sea to Bulgaria. That project was canceled in 2014 thanks to European sanctions, robbing Southern Europe of the capacity to import up to 63 billion cm3/yr in Russian gas, and depriving Sofia of hundreds of millions of dollars in annual transit revenues.
16 October 2022, 11:45 GMT
Europe is facing unprecedented energy shortages amid the loss of Russian supplies, and self-imposed restrictions on the import of Russian oil, gas, coal and electricity meant to "punish" Moscow for its ongoing military operation in Ukraine.
Earlier this month, a major association of European gas infrastructure operators reported
that gas offtake from Europe's underground gas storage facilities has begun to exceed input, and that reserves consist of about 95 billion cubic meters of gas. Separately, the International Energy Agency warned
that supplies in storage could drop to as little as 5 percent full by February if Russian gas were not restored or foreign sources of liquefied natural gas were not found.
The energy shortages have forced many European governments to enforce economies on energy use, forcing citizens to turn down the thermostat, reducing heating and lighting in public buildings, and running ad campaigns urging people to dress warmer, bathe less and avoid using cars to save energy. The restrictions, combined with raging inflation and the knock-on economic consequences from the loss of Russian energy in industry, have sparked large-scale anti-austerity protests in some countries.
8 October 2022, 20:41 GMT