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 agreed to transfer part of the volumes for one of its contracts in a tender called by BOTAŞ, and in 2007 it signed contracts with the four private companies that gained the rights to import gas into Turkey.

The next step in deregulating the national gas market was the Turkish government’s admission of new private players into the market. Having considered the new realities, and at the request of the Turkish party, Gazprom Export signed new long-term contracts (through 2042, inclusive) with Turkish private companies in August 2012. The contracts allow for supplying up to 6 bcm a year of Russian gas to Turkey. The total supply volumes under these new contracts completely replaced the natural gas volumes formerly supplied to BOTAŞ under the contract signed on February 14, 1986. Gas supply under the new contracts commenced on January 1, 2013.

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. This new pipeline will have an annual capacity of 63 bcm, including 14 bcm for Turkish consumers and around 50 bcm to the Turkish-Greek border, where a delivery point will be organized. The pipeline’s starting point should be the Russkaya compressor station in the Krasnodar Region.

As at December 31, 2014, over 349 bcm of natural gas had been supplied to Turkey since the beginning of supplies. Supply volumes for 2014 came to 27.33 bcm.

Related news:

Gazprom and Botas agree to review price on Russian gas – 27.02.2015

South Stream Offshore pipeline in Turkish waters will have no negative environmental impact – 25.12.2013

Gazprom Export supports TOBB-ETÜ students – 20.11.2013

Scoping Report for the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) of the South Stream Offshore Pipeline in Turkey published – 18.07.2013

Turkey allows private companies to import Russian gas via the Western route – 29.11.2012

Gazprom Group came to the assistance of Turkey once again – 19.10.2012

Turkey expressed gratitude to Russia for increasing gas shipment to make up for force-major disruptions – 12.10.2012

Turkish government permits the construction of new pipeline in its economic zone – 29.12.2011

Anniversary supply for Blue Stream – 27.07.2010