“If we did not have the TurkStream [pipeline], we could have had problems Europe is facing now,” BOTAŞ Deputy General Manager Aldülkadir Yaylacı, said speaking at the parliament’s industry, trade and energy commission.
Presently, there are 5.8 billion cubic meters of natural gas stored at the Silivri and Lake Tuz facilities, he told lawmakers at the commission, adding that the total storage capacity will increase to 11 billion cubic meters at the end of 2023.
“We have not yet tapped the natural gas storage facilities.”
Some lawmakers noted that according to international standards, natural gas, which corresponds to 12 percent of a country’s consumption, should be stored and that Türkiye should have 12 billion cubic meters of natural gas at its facilities.
Yaylacı responded that in addition to the natural gas stored at the Lake Tuz and the Silivri facilities, Türkiye also has around 1 billion cubic meters of liquefied natural gas (LNG).
With the new facilities opened at a ceremony on Dec. 16 attended by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the storage capacity of the Silivri Underground Natural Gas Storage Facility increased from 3.2 billion cubic meters to 4.6 billion cubic meters, which made it the largest storage facility in Europe.
The capacity of the Lake Tuz facility will also be increased to 5.4 billion cubic meters, Yaylacı said.
“Seven natural gas pipelines go through our country. Gas transferred via the TurkStream and Blue Stream arrive in Türkiye first, which is very important for our natural gas security,” he added, noting that gas delivered with pipelines is always cheaper.
The BOTAŞ official also said that natural gas is sold to households and small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) below its cost and the subsidized rate is around 70 percent.
Natural gas subsidies provided to households and SMEs will reach 175 billion Turkish Liras and 30 billion liras as of December, respectively, and this total amount of 205 billion liras will be met by the Treasury.
Price fluctuations in the global natural gas market affect Türkiye, Yaylacı responded to lawmakers who asked if the natural gas the country buys is expensive.
“The price of 1,000 cubic meters of natural gas climbed to $3,000 in September due to the problems in the Nord Stream. Currently, the price is around $1,500 per 1,000 cubic meters. We have short, medium and long-term natural gas purchasing agreements with suppliers, we also buy gas from the spot market,” he explained.
The price in some of the long-term contracts is indexed to oil and title transfer facility (TTF), he furthered.
“Europe is buying natural gas for around $1,500, we pay less than this,” Yaylacı said.
Hurriyet Daily News