Development of Russia’s latest pipeline proposal for southeast Europe, dubbed “Turkish Stream” and envisaged to run from the Greek-Turkish border area across northern Greece for a link with Italy would establish Greece into a gas hub and this would not be in the interests of Turkey, Volkan Ozdemir, chairman at EPPEN, the neighboring country’s Institute for Energy Markets and Policies, contended during a speech at an Athens conference organized by IENE, the Institute of Energy for South-East Europe.
Although the project would offer Turkey certain benefits as a transit country, it would rival TANAP, the Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline, and is therefore not seen as a particularly attractive prospect in Turkey, Ozdemir noted. Negotiations between Russia and Turkey on the “Turkish Stream” proposal have stagnated.
While making note of the importance of the “energy triangle” comprised of the EU, Russia, and Turkey, Ozdemir highlighted his country’s geopolitical significance, saying the country links energy consuming countries with producing countries. This alone establishes Turkey as hub in the wider region, the Turkish official noted. However, he admitted Turkey is highly dependent on Russia and Iran as its main energy suppliers.
Commenting on Turkey’s gas market, Ozdemir said Botas, Turkey’s state-owned crude oil and natural gas pipelines and trading company, may control an 80 percent share of the country’s supply market, but a further eight private companies share the gas market’s other 20 percent.