With the continuous rise in output and fierce competition among suppliers, liquefied natural gas (LNG) has become one of the most discussed topics in the global energy sector. Under this context, Turkey as an energy importer looks at purchasing natural gas under the best circumstances and reinforce its position as a gas trading hub. The country's huge gas market and the steps taken in accordance with its goals were discussed at the 2019 American LNG Summit held in Puerto Rico Thursday and Turkey was represented by the Consulate General in Houston. In his detailed presentation on the Turkey-U.S. energy trade and the Turkish gas market, Energy Counselor Caner Can, based in the Turkish Consulate General in Houston, drew attention to the increasing capabilities of Turkey's LNG capacity.
Turkey's regasification capacity currently stands at 42.7 billion cubic meters at the country's four LNG terminals. According to Can, the first floating storage unit (FSRU), which started operating in December 2016, has a regasification capacity of 7.3 billion cubic meters while the second FSRU has the same capacity. The Aliağa and Marmara Ereğlisi terminals have respectively 14.6 billion cubic meters and 13.5 billion cubic meters of regasification capacity. With particular emphasis on the recent efforts to enhance LNG infrastructure and capacity to diversify gas suppliers and reduce dependency on pipeline gas, he drew attention to the significant progress in Turkey's LNG purchases.
"Turkey became Europe's top destination for LNG cargo in 2018. Europe's net LNG imports fell by 5 percent in the first half of last year, while Turkey's LNG purchases were up by 12 percent and reached 4.65 million tons," he said. The counselor also explained that cargo to Turkey has accounted for 29 percent of the U.S. LNG exports since the first LNG shipment in November 2016. Can pointed out the establishment of the natural gas stock market under the Energy Stock Exchange (EPİAŞ). He noted that Turkey is now an emerging gas trade market between suppliers and consumers and the LNG coming at the Turkish facilities can be regasified here and sold to southeast European countries via a significant interconnection at the Greek border – the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP), the largest part of the Southern Gas Corridor. "A diversified gas market with high and growing demand around 50 to 55 billion cubic meters per year, sound natural gas infrastructure and expertise in gas and LNG trading, an enhanced pipeline grid of around 13,000 kilometers and a gas trading spot market for LNG regasification capacity offer opportunities for energy cooperation with Turkey," he said.