Turkey's natural gas imports from Iran dropped 31.2% down to 5.3 billion cubic meters (bcm) last year compared to 2019, according to Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EPDK) data on Friday, while the total gas imports increased with LNG agreements.
Repairs following an explosion at the Turkey-Iran pipeline in March 2020 took longer than expected due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This resulted in a two-month halt in gas imports from Iran, which dramatically decreased Turkey's overall gas imports from the country. Natural gas imports from Iran stood at around 7.7 bcm in 2019.
Nonetheless, Turkey's total natural gas imports increased by 6.5% up to 48.1 bcm compared to 2019.
Turkey imports natural gas via a long-term pipeline and liquefied natural gas (LNG) contracts as well as through the spot LNG market. The country has long-term natural gas import contracts with Russia, Azerbaijan and Iran, along with long-term LNG contracts with Algeria and Nigeria.
The year 2021 is being dubbed as a turning point for the natural gas sector given that a significant portion of Ankara’s long-term gas contracts will be terminated this year, providing the groundwork for a better bargain in future contracts. Renegotiating those contracts and securing cheaper prices are among the primary demands of Turkey.
The contracts that are set to expire in 2021 cover a total of 15.9 bcm of natural gas out of a total of oil-indexed long-term contracts for 58 bcm. This would be determinative for next year’s sectoral and natural gas expenditures.
Turkey imported the highest gas volumes from Russia at around 16.2 bcm in 2020. Natural gas imports from the country showed an increase of 6.4% year-on-year.
Imports from Azerbaijan rose by 20.5% to reach 11.5 bcm, with the gas flow through the Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline being the main factor for this increase.
Turkey received the highest LNG volumes from Algeria in 2020 at 5.6 bcm, although LNG imports from the country decreased by 1.8% compared to 2019 levels. LNG imports from Nigeria fell by 22.2% down to 1.9 bcm last year compared to the previous year.
The biggest increases in Turkey's spot LNG imports were from Qatar and the U.S.
Last year, Turkey's spot LNG imports from Qatar grew 32.1% to 3.2 bcm while spot LNG volumes from the U.S. showed a huge 144% increase to 3 bcm.
Turkey also received spot LNG cargoes from Norway, France, Spain and Cameroon.
Turkey's total natural gas consumption last year grew by 6.9% to reach almost 48 bcm.
Household consumption at 14.6 bcm accounted for 30% of total consumption. Household natural gas in Turkey increased year-on-year by 8.7%.
Consumption at gas-powered plants rose to 12.6 bcm in 2020, marking a 23.5% increase.
Due to a drought in the last months of 2020, causing a decline in hydro output, the share of gas-powered plants out of total electricity generation increased by over 20%.
Higher gas consumption in power plants and households was among the main factors leading to the growth in total gas consumption and imports.
Turkey's first floating storage and regasification units (FSRU) were launched in the Aliağa district in December 2016. In early February 2018, a second FSRU with 20 million cubic meters of send-out capacity per day was launched in the country’s southernmost Hatay province.
The country plans to expand its LNG storage capacity by adding a third FSRU in Saros Bay, north of the Gallipoli Peninsula in northwestern Turkey by 2021.
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