Poor forward planning and political manipulation of energy prices look likely to leave Turkey facing gas shortages this winter, even before the prospect of regional gas cuts due to the on-going hostilities in Ukraine.
Turkey last week experienced an unexplained drop in pressure in its western import line, through which it receives 14bn cubic metres (bcm) of gas from Russia, or about 30 per cent of Turkish demand. That sparked fears of further cuts during the peak mid winter demand period should a working ceasefire not be concluded.
But Turkey’s gas woes are not confined to one import line through Ukraine. Read more
Turkey and Azerbaijan have further cemented their close relations with the signing of a $3.29bn credit agreement for the Turkish subsidiary of Azeri state oil company Socar, for the construction of a 10bn tonnes a year oil refinery to be constructed at Aliaga on Turkey’s Aegean coast.
The credit package, formally agreed on Friday, is both the largest single project finance agreement in Turkish history and, at 18 years, the deal with the longest maturity to date. Read more
Turkey appears ready to allow exports of crude oil from Iraq’s semi autonomous Kurdistan region following the conclusion of tests on an unused section of the Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline, which leads from the Turkish-Iraqi border to its oil export terminal at Ceyhan on the East Mediterranean coast. Read more
At first glance the announcement in Turkey’s Official Gazette on Tuesday that Turkey’s State Supply Office has issued a tender to buy 250m instant win lottery tickets might look like a cunning plan to help cover Turkey’s burgeoning current account deficit.
A second glance might conclude that the unusual tender is related to the privatisation on behalf of Turkey’s national lottery, Milli Piyango. Read more
The secondary public offering for Turkey’s state real estate development company has proved every bit as attractive to investors as had been predicted when it was first announced back in February.
It’s a result that apparently justifies both the plan to sell a further 25.86 per cent of the company, and the subsequent decision to postpone the sale taken in June in the wake of widespread civil unrest and calls for the resignation of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Read more
Iraq’s semi autonomous region of Kurdistan has given its clearest signals yet that it is preparing to realise the export of oil and gas by pipeline via Turkey, independent of the Iraqi central government in Baghdad.
Ashti Hawrami (pictured), the Regional Government’s minister of natural resources, said that the central government will have to accept that the Kurdistan Regional Government can export oil and gas without interference from Baghdad. Read more
Turkey’s energy market regulator EPDK this week awarded Turkish construction group Siyah Kalem a licence to import gas from Iraq 18 months on from the company’s initial application.
The volumes are small – rising to a maximum of 3.2bn cu m per yr over the first 20 years out of a total 26 – but the fact it has been awarded at all speaks volumes about the state of relations between Turkey and Iraq, and the semi-autonomous Kurdish region of Northern Iraq. Read more
Arguably the announcement last week by Abu Dhabi state energy company Taqa that it would postpone a final decision on investing in developing new coal fired power plant in Turkey to next year, was less surprising than the response to the announcement from Turkish energy minister Taner Yildiz.
Commenting on the decision Yildiz expressed his hope that the decision had not been made for political reasons, pointing to the ongoing instability in Egypt and Syria. Read more
Ordinarily the announcement of a pre-qualification tender for the construction of a pipeline wouldn’t rate much coverage outside of specialist news services.
But the publication Tuesday of adverts by the Trans Anatolian Gas Pipeline company (Tanap) requesting applications from companies interested in building its 1,800km gas line is a little different. It represents the beginning of the end of an EU plan hatched over a decade ago to bring gas from the Caspian basin west to European markets in competition to Russian gas. Read more
It’s difficult not to feel sympathy for the management of Tupras, Turkey’s sole oil refiner.
For the past two years the company has been walking the tightrope between the Turkish and US government positions on its crude imports from Iran, which at their peak of 9.25 million tonnes in 2011 accounted for more than half of the crude it processed. Read more
As the French author Victor Hugo put it: “All the forces in the world are not as powerful as an idea whose time has come.”
Hugo died long before electricity became commonplace in Europe’s major cities, but his aphorism could easily be applied to electricity itself – and even to Turkey’s Karadeniz Holding, which has come up with a novel and successful means of taking power to parts of the world where existing supply has problems meeting growing demand. Read more
Turkey’s purchasing managers’ index joined Russia’s in dipping into negative territory on Thursday, in further evidence of sluggishness in the economy and of the fact that, while some countries on the edge of Europe are showing signs of renewed life, others are still stuck in the mud. Read more
Turkey’s use of a broad “interest rate corridor” as an instrument of monetary policy was controversial when it was first introduced in late 2010.
Two and a half years later, in spite of a broad consensus that this unconventional measure has been surprisingly effective, it remains no less controversial. Read more
Listen to recent speeches by Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and one thing becomes immediately apparent: he is not short of opponents. Or rather, his perception is that he is not short of opponents, and he’s equally unafraid of naming them.
Having spent much of the past six weeks blaming the international media, international plots and the mysterious and previously unknown “international interest rate lobby” for the widespread anti-government demonstrations over the past six weeks, he has now chosen to target Turkey’s own domestic credit sector. Read more
The closure on July 26 of Ford’s Transit production plant at Southampton may spell the end of an era for vehicle manufacturing in the UK but the transfer of production to Turkey offers the Turkish automotive sector a valuable boost.
Turkey’s automotive manufacturers have been particularly hard hit by a drop in demand in key European markets that saw sales of new passenger cars falling to a 17-year low in June. Read more
If hope and effort expended translated automatically into oil and gas reserves, Turkey would have been self sufficient years ago.
Sadly geology has decreed that thus far what reserves have been identified in Turkey have been small and confined to the far south east and North West of the country. Read more
Major infrastructure projects in Turkey are seldom less than controversial and the ground breaking ceremony for the third bridge over Istanbul’s Bosphorus straits held this week was guaranteed to spark protests even before the announcement that it was to be named after one of the Ottoman Empire’s less enlightened leaders, Sultan Yavuz Selim, known in the west as “Selim the Grim”. Read more
Turkey is preparing to sign more contracts with US and Russian companies to prospect for and develop oil and gas reserves in the Kurdish-controlled region of northern Iraq, Turkish officials said on Wednesday.
Officials gave no names of any companies involved or nor details of what sort of agreements may be signed beyond saying they would be “commercial” agreements. Read more
The Azeri dialect of Turkish may sound strange to Turkish ears but it is perfectly intelligible and the increasing economic and political cooperation between the two states represents as much a common culture as the geographical imperative that makes Turkey the perfect export route for Azerbaijan’s sizeable reserves of oil and gas reserves. Read more
The nine month stand-off between French supermarket giant Carrefour and its Turkish partner Sabanci Holding has finally been resolved with the two companies announcing a deal under which Sabanci will take control of the pair’s Turkish joint venture CarrefourSA. Read more