Expert: Turkey will deprive Russia of its "energy weapon"

Turkey is gradually depriving Russia of its "energy weapon", writes Dimitar Bechev, a researcher at the University of North Carolina, on Foreign Policy. The geographical location between the producers of hydrocarbons in the Middle East and the South Caucasus, as well as the consuming countries from the EU has long been a real trump card for Ankara. But the recent discovery of a large natural gas field off the country's Black Sea coast could really make a difference for the Turks.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan promised to start using the Black Sea gas in 2023, by the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Turkey. If you believe him, Turkey will be able to meet almost 7 percent of its annual demand for this fuel only from domestic sources. This is no small achievement for a country traditionally dependent on energy imports.

But trade relations with Russia are at stake. Since the nineties, Gazprom has been the main supplier to the Turkish market, occupying almost half of it. In fact, since 2005, when the Blue Stream pipeline was launched, Turkey has become the second largest consumer of Russian natural gas after Germany. Moscow has always had the upper hand in trade negotiations with Ankara, whether it be establishing a pricing formula or take-or-pay clauses in long-term contracts.

But now the situation seems to be changing in Turkey's favor. Since 2018, state-owned housing and utilities company BOTAS, as well as several private importers, have begun purchasing large volumes of LNG from Algeria, Nigeria, Qatar and the United States, which offer lower prices than Gazprom. Pipeline gas supplies from Azerbaijan are also gaining momentum.

In turn, Gazprom's share in the Turkish market decreased from 52% in 2017 to 47% in 2018 and only to 33% in 2019. The notion, Mr. Bechev continues, that Russia possesses an “energy weapon” to oppress its neighbors, popular in the 2000s, is no longer relevant to local markets.

Access to gas fields in the Black Sea will further strengthen Turkey's negotiating positions.

The neighbors of this transcontinental power, Romania and Bulgaria, will closely monitor the results of the "gas" race.

Good news lies in the fact that the Black Sea is much more ready for regional cooperation than the Eastern Mediterranean, where the interweaving of irreconcilable contradictions nearly led to bloodshed. [...] Although there are some problems here, the borders are generally settled, and the exceptional economic zones delimited

- the author believes.

Yes, in the Mediterranean, Turkey acts as a bully, interfering in the affairs of Greece, Egypt and Israel. However, the expert continues, in the Black Sea, refusing energy from Russia, it could play a productive role, setting a positive example for neighbors seeking to diversify gas supplies.
Dear reader, to leave comments on the publication, you must sign in.
  1. Oyo Sarkazmi Offline Oyo Sarkazmi
    Oyo Sarkazmi (Oyo Sarkazmi) 31 August 2020 08: 51
    How many Allahs have divorced on the Internet. Just thought - and so it became!
    Look, in the Barents Sea, how much gas was found - and 20 years will not even come. The same is with the Chukotka shelf. And we are richer than Turkey.
    There is only a statement about dreams - "fsio!
  2. boriz Offline boriz
    boriz (boriz) 31 August 2020 10: 03
    The EU is already going to impose sanctions against Turkey for exploration work in the Mediterranean. I have no doubt that nothing will break off in the Black Sea of ​​Turkey. Now everything is decided not by international law, but by force. Turkey has too many enemies and ill-wishers. But there are no allies, from the word "absolutely".
    The field itself is located far from Turkey, somewhere in the Danube Delta. And there are enough people who want to go there without Turkey.
    Will Romania and Ukraine want to host the Turkish gas pipeline? Not sure. And Turkey itself is far away. In general, there are too many complexities.
    And the schadenfreude of the American analyst amuses: from the fact that Turkey will also supply gas to Europe, the chances of the United States, with its LNG, simply go down to the level of a city sewer.
    1. Vladimir Tuzakov (Vladimir Tuzakov) 31 August 2020 11: 25
      When there is a "gold rush" with billions, then the impossible becomes possible. The time has come for many world suppliers of gas and oil (here Africa, etc.). Therefore, monopolies and fat years are behind us, we need to push on the market of sellers, which our "successful managers" did not and cannot do - just steal into their own pockets and write out millions of salaries ... directions, but besides the sale of national wealth, these "managers" in power do not know anything else ... It's time to hire other government managers working in other areas ...
  3. 123 Offline 123
    123 (123) 31 August 2020 10: 16
    Is Dimitar Bechev a Bulgarian refugee? Then everything fits together. laughing

    In turn, Gazprom's share in the Turkish market decreased from 52% in 2017 to 47% in 2018 and only to 33% in 2019.

    The year is not over yet, it is too early to draw conclusions. It is not a fact that the share will continue to decline, moreover, the freed up volumes can be sent to Europe (how is the gas pipeline in Bulgaria completed?). The gas price in the contract is tied to oil and changes with a time lag. Oil prices have fallen, followed by a fall in gas prices. The Turks will wait for a decrease and will get the planned volume in the fall.

    Access to gas fields in the Black Sea will further strengthen Turkey's negotiating positions.

    Black Sea gas "lokotok" still need to be able to bite. The Anglo-Saxons have technologies for offshore production (what about the S-400 and F-35?), You can try to ask the allied Macron (how is Rafali doing in Cyprus?), Or is there an option on this topic with Putin. winked By the way, the depths there are decent, the proto-ukr diggers overdid it in their time. laughing
  4. g1washntwn Offline g1washntwn
    g1washntwn (George Washington) 31 August 2020 12: 12
    Let them tell about the "gas weapon" to the Saudis and those who have come to the fair already without pants and scold other people's bagels. Aggravated competition (by the way, not yet confirmed in material form) in the context of the global crisis is normal and commonplace. Everyone pulls the blanket over themselves, which says only one thing - the project of the globalists to get the world market controlled by them is stuck. I would not be surprised if they reincarnate the socialist idea under a modified sauce. Capitalism and liberal ideas are not exported. One-time robbing turns out well, but there is practically no one to rob (in the gateway you can leave not only teeth, but all remaining health), the West has zero uniting and creative ideas after 1917.