Reducing Turkey's Dependence on Foreign Oil and Gas

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Oil & Gas IQ

In the coming years Turkey has a number of priorities for the development of its energy markets and resources.

Setting out a pathway for the period between 2010 and 2014, the ministry of energy and natural resources said that its key aims centre around security of supply and a reduction in dependence on foreign oil.


As of January 1st 2009, the United States Energy Information Administration estimated that Turkey had 300 million barrels of guaranteed reserves, although potential further deposits exist within the Aegean Sea that have yet to be tapped into.

Despite these reserves, Turkey, which describes itself as an "energy corridor" thanks to the highly popular shipping lane the Bosporus Straits, is heavily dependent on foreign oil and gas.

Figures from the ministry's strategic plan show that production of natural gas in 2008 was 1 billion m sq compared to consumption of 36 billion m sq, meaning there was a rate of import dependence of more than 95 percent. Similarly oil production was 19.3 million barrels, which compared with consumption figures, created an import dependence rate of 93 percent.

Increasing Domestic Supply

Plans for increasing the amount of oil and gas that Turkey produces between the years 2010 and 2014 were laid out in the document.

"Priority will be given to the domestic coal, oil and natural gas exploration and production operations and precautions will be taken to secure the sustainability of the investments in this area," the report explained.

The ministry said that it plans to continue to work on "ultra deep sea" exploration within the Black Sea and increasingly in other regions outside of Turkish waters.

Countries that are being explored by the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) were said to be a particular focus for Turkey, not just in terms of exploration but also in establishing partnerships and buying shares. Countries currently associated with TPAO include Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Libya, Syria, Turkmenistan, Georgia, Iraq, Egypt, Russia and Algeria.

Increased storage for natural gas will also be created through the Salt Lake Natural Gas Storage Project and input capacities for current facilities will be increased. Storage capacity should be double from the 2.1 billion m sq in 2009 by the year 2015.

Plans are also to diversify the range of countries from which natural gas is imported, with a decrease in the amount brought in from the largest supply country.

Renewables and Unconventional Reserves

In addition to the increased levels of production of domestic oil and gas, the report detailed that renewables were likely to play a larger role in Turkey's energy future.

"Moreover, according to the aim of providing diversification of the energy supply, the maximum use of the domestic and renewable resources in the production of electricity energy and the initiation of the construction of the nuclear plant have been targeted," the report detailed.

By the year 2023, the country aims to have 200,000 MW of wind energy capacity installed, 600 MW of geothermal capacity and 5 percent of the country's total electricity production from nuclear sources.

In total, the plan details that the ministry hopes to have 30 percent of electricity produced from renewable sources.

Proposals put forward to reach this target include the acceleration of adjustments to the electricity network to allow for the connection of more wind farms and studies for the geothermal potential of certain areas.

The ministry also said it would be placing an increased emphasis on energy efficiency as part of its efforts to increase energy security and decrease import dependence.