In February 1986, based on an Intergovernmental Agreement dated September 18, 1984, a contract was signed with Turkey’s BOTAŞ company for supplying up to 6 bcm of gas per year for over 25 years (1987-2011). The first deliveries of natural gas to Turkey from the Soviet Union began in June 1987, by transit via Romania and Bulgaria using the specially-constructed Trans-Balkan pipeline.

In 1998, a long-term contract was signed with BOTAŞ for supplying an additional 8 bcm per year via this route through 2022, inclusive.

Until 2003, natural gas was delivered to Turkey only by transit through Ukraine, Moldova, Romania, and Bulgaria. In 2003, gas started flowing through the Blue Stream pipeline under a Gazexport-BOTAŞ contract dated December 15, 1997 and based on an Intergovernmental Agreement on Russian gas supply to Turkey via the Black Sea. The maximum annual capacity for supply via this route is 16 bcm.

The BOTAŞ state pipeline company was founded by the TPAO state oil company in 1974 in accordance with a Turkish government resolution. BOTAŞ has engaged in gas trading and transportation since 1986.

Until recently, BOTAŞ had exclusive rights to oversee and structure the gas market in Turkey. With the aim of accession to the European Union, the Turkish government enacted a Natural Gas Market Act that entailed gradually eliminating the gas import monopoly by having BOTAS transfer pre-contracted gas volumes to private sector importers, on a tender basis (and subject to the gas seller’s approval).

Given the deregulation of Turkey’s gas market, Gazprom Export in 2007 and in 2012 signed contracts with the private companies that gained the rights to import gas into Turkey. The contracts allow for supplying up to 14 bcm a year of Russian gas to Turkey.

On December 1, 2014, Gazprom Management Committee Chairman Alexey Miller and BOTAŞ Board of Directors Chairman Mehmet Konuk signed a memorandum of understanding on building a subsea gas pipeline across the Black Sea in the direction of Turkey.

On 10 October 2016, the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of the Republic of Turkey signed an Agreement on the TurkStream project. The pipeline’s departure point is expected to be the Russkaya compressor station in Krasnodar Krai. The new pipeline’s offshore section will run along the bottom of the Black Sea. Maximum depth along the pipeline route will reach 2,200 m. The underwater section will exceed 900 km. The length of the Turkish onshore section will amount to 180 km. The capacity of the first and second branches of Turkish Stream are expected to total 15.75 bcm each.

Construction of the TurkStream gas pipeline was commenced on May 7, 2017 in the Black Sea near the Russian coast.

As at December 31, 2016, over 400 bcm of natural gas had been supplied to Turkey since the beginning of supplies. Supply volumes for 2016 came to 24.76 bcm.

Related sections:
TurkStream, Blue Stream

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