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Iran's gas exports to Turkey drop to zero in 2nd quarter

Iran's gas exports to Turkey drop to zero in 2nd quarter

Ankara, September 1 - Neftegaz.RU. According to Radio Farda, the Turkish Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EMRA) reports that in the Q2 of 2020, the country did not receive any natural gas from Iran.

At the end of March, the separatist left-leaning Kurdish party, PKK, blew up the Iran-Turkey gas pipeline, but unlike previous cases Ankara delayed repairing the pipeline for 3 months. Therefore, it did not receive gas from its eastern neighbor.

Turkey used to repair the damaged gas pipeline within a week in similar cases in the past. This time, however, it took until early July for Iranian gas to flow into Turkey again.

Data provided by the EMRA show that in the 1st half of 2020, the country received only 2 billion m3 of gas from Iran, which indicates a 46% decrease compared with the same period last year. According to a Tehran-Ankara agreement, Turkey must buy 10 billion m3 of gas a year from Iran.

A report by the Turkish Statistics Center also shows that the country's total imports from Iran in the first 6 months of the year were $468 million, an 8-fold drop compared with about $3.7 billion in the same period last year.

Meanwhile, Turkey's exports to Iran also fell by 40% to $ 843 million. Statistics from the EMRA show that the country also reduced gas imports from Russia by 43% to 4.6 billion m3 in the 1st half of this year. Instead, gas imports from Azerbaijan increased by 23% to 5.5 billion m3.

Azerbaijan's share in the Turkish gas market has doubled in the last 3 years, Russia's share is less than half, and Iran's share almost halved. This is potentially a big help for Azerbaijan's economy at a time of low global energy prices. Turkey and Azerbaijan have a special relationship in the region.

Turkey has also doubled its imports of LNG from the U.S. to nearly 885 million m3.

Iran is normally Turkey's 2nd-biggest supplier of natural gas after Russia. Turkey's state gas importer, Botas, imports up to 9.6 Bcm/year of Iranian gas via the pipeline under a 25-year contract, which runs to July 2026. Turkey uses Iranian gas for electricity generation.

Turkey says its largest-ever natural gas discovery in the Black Sea could lead to a new cooperation with Iran even as Ankara aims not to remain a mere buyer, but it also seeks to become a producer.

Author: Dalga Khatinoglu

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