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Turkey's efforts to liberalize the gas market as well as reduce imports are underway. There are also hopes of possible new gas finds offshore.

Joachim Conrad

Managing Director, Bosphorus Gaz

I still believe there might be commercial gas potential in the Black Sea offshore sector of Turkey. Therefore, new exploration activities and investment by international major oil companies should continue together with the Turkish Petroleum Company (TPAO). There is currently limited offshore gas production in the Western Black Sea. However, Shell and TPAO recently signed an agreement and could shortly commence drilling in a concession located in the Western Black Sea offshore sector. The Gulf of Antalya might be also interesting with respect to oil and gas exploration, regarding which TPAO and Shell have signed a joint venture exploration agreement. Following commercial gas discoveries in the offshore sector of Israel, the Eastern Mediterranean seems another potential region for oil and gas exploration activities. In the Turkish sector, TPAO has opted to farm-out for partners, preferably majors, to carry out exploration activities.

Batu Aksoy

CEO, Turcas Petrol

We first started importing natural gas in 2009, and have been experiencing growth over the past year. Our first contract, from a BOTAÅž release program, was for a very small annual volume of just 750 million cubic meters (mcm). In 2013, we increased that volume by adding a further two contracts, and today import 2.5 billion cubic meters (bcm) of Russian gas. We have another ongoing application for the import of Kazakhstani gas. That will bring our annual total to about 3.25 bcm. Our main aim is to find the best solutions to supply Turkey with natural gas from diverse sources and via all routes, while being involved in the entire natural gas value chain. Unfortunately, there are not too many options in terms of importing natural gas into Turkey. However, we are pursuing all available avenues in order to increase the amount of natural gas entering Turkey to supply the Turkish market and serve our customers.

Orhan Duran

Chairman, Orhan Duran

Turkey has been trying to liberalize its energy market since 2001. It all started with the enactment of the Electricity Market Law No. 4628, Natural Gas Market Law No. 4646 and the establishment of the Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EMRA). Then, it continued with the opening up of the market to independent, emerging new power plants and the privatization of gas distribution regions. These are all very positive developments. But on the other hand, the privatization of the generation assets remains to be completed. Additionally, the government has yet to complete the unbundling of all transmission activities and the release of BOTAÅž’s existing gas import contracts to private companies, as well as establishing the energy exchange in Turkey. It is not possible to have a liberalized electricity market without a fully liberalized natural gas market. As long as the government has the ability to control prices and maintains cross-subsidization, the market’s behavior cannot improve.

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