Hurriyet Daily News - Turkey’s state-run pipeline company Petroleum Pipeline Corporation (BOTAS) and China’s Tianchen Engineering (TCC) have signed a USD 559 million deal to build a 1 billion-cubic-meter gas depository under Turkey’s Lake Tuz in Central Anatolia.
Energy-hungry Turkey is keen on building the gas depository because of its current reliance on Russia, Azerbaijan, and Iran for natural gas.
Turkey’s Energy Minister, Taner Yıldız, said Turkey’s gas demand is increasing more and more each day, and that this project is needed to ensure the healthy management of natural gas.
“We are planning on building depositories in other regions as well. Turkey’s total natural gas storage capacity should to be 5 billion cubic meters, so we are contemplating new investments,” said Yıldız during a ceremony in Ankara to mark the agreement, Reuters reported.
The 5 million cubic meters Turkey needs are equivalent to the amount of gas BOTAS has been importing via the West Line from Russia’s Gazprom on an annual basis. However, BOTAS has canceled the current deal with Gazprom due to a price dispute. The domestic natural gas market is now waiting for new Gazprom contracts to be signed by international and Turkish firms to replace BOTAS.
Turkey plays a crucial role in the transfer of oil and gas from producing countries in the East to customers in the West, especially those in Europe. Turkey’s state-owned oil corporation TPAO has formed partnerships with foreign oil companies for oil and gas exploration in the Black Sea and the Mediterranean.