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Turkey’s Gas Pipelines at Major Crossroad

Istanbul city skyline
Nicholas Newman Pipeline Gas Journal September 2017

Turkey’s close proximity to over 75% of the world’s proven oil and gas reserves makes it a vital conduit for piped oil and gas from Russia, central Asia and the Middle East to European countries. Oil and gas from Azerbaijan, Iran, Iraq and Russia flow through Turkish pipelines, ports and waterways to Turkey’s gas power stations, industry and households and to markets further afield.

Despite some market liberalization, state-controlled BOTAŞ Petroleum Pipeline Corp. (BOTAS) imports 78% of all the natural gas consumed in Turkey. It owns and operates the country’s oil and gas transmission networks, two of the four refineries, some storage facilities, one of two LNG import terminals and has a stake in the first gas transit pipeline currently under construction, the Trans-Anatolian Pipeline.

Market for Gas

Turkey is one of the world’s fastest-growing energy markets, behind China, in terms of natural gas and electricity demand growth. Imports account for nearly  99% of its gas consumption, according to the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources. Gas imports of 48.4 Bcm in 2015 came by pipeline from Russia (55.3%), Iran (16.2%) Azerbaijan (12.7%) and by LNG tanker from Algeria (8.1%) and Nigeria (2.6%), reports BOTAS. Turkey is Russia’s second-largest gas market after Germany and was valued at $10 billion in 2016, reports Gazprom.

Almost 50% of all natural gas is consumed by the power sector’s  about 230 gas power plants that serve Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Adana, Gaziantepas and other cities. With maximum import capacity of 196.5 MMcm/d and a peak winter demand of 230 MMcm/d, there is a need to increase energy supplies.

Future rapid population growth and industrialization could double demand for gas to 11-12 Bcf/d by 2025. As Europe’s third-fastest growing economy, the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources is forecasting a rise in electricity demand from 264 terawatt hours (TWh) in 2015 to 416 TWh in 2023.

Domestic Grid

Domestic industry, households and power-generation sectors are served by BOTAŞ, which operates 9,555 km of transmission pipelines and the distribution grid of 2,735 km. Four international gas import pipelines, with an annual capacity of 46.35 Bcm, bring natural gas from Russia, Azerbaijan and Iran to markets in Turkey and South East Europe, including Bulgaria and Romania (Table 1). Read more

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