ISTANBUL (Reuters) — Gazprom signed a long-term agreement for the supply of gas to private companies of Turkey, strengthening position in the growing market amid slowdown in demand in Europe.
Turkey’s energy market regulator gave companies Akfel, Bosphorus and Kibar import licenses for Russian gas "western route" for more than 30 years and allowed the company Bati Hatti buy gas for 23 years.
These four companies have previously agreed with Gazprom to import 6 billion cubic meters a year by the "western route" — Trans-Balkan pipeline — capacity of 14 billion cubic meters, passing through Ukraine, Moldova, Romania and Bulgaria.
"This transaction is very important for Gazprom. Turkey has always been an important and stable partner for us," — Gazprom Export official told Reuters.
Russian gas supplies to Turkey hampered since the end of 2011, when the state-owned gas company Botas of Turkey did not renew expiring on 25-year contract because of disagreements over price. During this period, the supply of short-term continuing.
Turkey uses gas as the primary fuel for power plants and for 10 years is going to take third place for the consumption of electricity in Europe, surpassing the United Kingdom, and become the center of trade in energy.
Gazprom is seeking to reduce dependence on the European Union, which accounts for 80 percent of exports.
(Ece Toksabay. Translated Denis Pshenichnikov)