State gas agency Botas on 28 April signed an agreement worth $13,500 million with Gazprom of Russia to supply Turkey with additional natural gas over a 25-year period. The deal, reached at the outset of a Black Sea Economic Co-operation (BSEC) business council meeting, will help secure Turkish energy requirements into the 21st century, Energy & Natural Resources Minister Recai Kutan said.

Russian supplies of natural gas are expected to meet about half of Turkish import demand, Kutan said. The agreement specifically provides for the supply of 500 million cubic metres (mcm) in 1997 in addition to the 6,000 mcm Turkey already receives.

Kutan noted the additional Russian supplies will be particularly needed in the short term as total domestic demand is expected to rise to 27,000 million cubic metres a year (mcm/y) by 2000 from about 8,000 mcm/y. The other main supplier at present is Algeria, which provides Turkey with shipments of liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Two joint venture companies have already been established by Gazprom and Botas to distribute the Russian gas in Turkey, and to construct an additional pipeline network connecting the two countries, said Kutan. The existing pipeline for Russian gas imports from the Bulgarian border to Ankara will initially be expanded to cope with the additional supplies, he added.

Studies are also continuing on a proposed $3,300 million gas pipeline running under the Black Sea, to meet the rapidly growing import demand, said Kutan. The Black Sea pipeline is being studied by Petergaz, a joint venture between Gazprom and the Netherlands’ Hareema (MEED 24:1:97).