Today’s Zaman - Russia-based energy giant Gazprom is seeking to extend its business relations with Turkey, with plans to launch new projects to enlarge its delivery area in the Middle East and Israel via Turkey in particular.
In an interview with Today's Zaman, Gazprom said Turkey was one of their most important markets, and currently the third largest in Europe. The volume of exports to Turkey via the Blue Stream gas pipeline has continued to grow from year to year. In 2006, 19.9 billion cubic meters of gas were exported to Turkey, and "according to preliminary estimates, Russian natural gas supplies to Turkey grew over 10 percent in 2007 to comprise close to 22 billion cubic meters."
Gazprom also emphasized that they have been a reliable supplier of natural gas to Turkey, especially in times of gas shortage. Furthermore, the company said Blue Stream represented an already existing gas transportation corridor for the implementation of new projects, one of which could become the Blue Stream 2, which is currently at the revision stage. With the realization of the Blue Stream 2, Gazprom will be able to deliver to Israel and to the Middle East. "The political situation in this region suggests that the option of transit through Turkey is the only viable one for the time being," Gazprom said.
Gazprom is also interested in delivering gas to end consumers in Turkey, either directly or through a subsidiary company or a joint venture, taking into account the liberalization of the Turkish market. At the same time, Gazprom also said it was ready to reinvest a part of the revenues from gas exports to Turkey into the development of the Turkish gas transmission and gas distribution infrastructure, as well as its gas and power facilities, which will promote the development of the country's gas market as a whole.