As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and the global recession following the Russia-Ukraine crisis, ensuring energy supply security all over the world has become one of the main issues on the agenda. As the demand for oil and natural gas around the world turns into an energy crisis, the discoveries in the Black Sea natural gas field, and the increase in energy supply security and storage capacities have brought Türkiye’s energy policy to a significant place in a broad perspective. We consider Türkiye’s innovative projects and strat- egies supporting energy transformation and the evaluation of our energy resources among our main priorities. Accordingly, all our activities in the field of energy, both regionally and globally, will offer benefits in the long run.
One of the consequences of the ongoing war be- tween Ukraine and Russia has been in the field of energy, as we have mentioned before. Reduction or stopping of natural gas shipments to Europe supplied by Russia is still one of the most critical topics on the agenda. The price of 1000 cubic meters of natural gas in the international market was $150 before the pandemic, however, this figure increased almost 20 times, reaching $3000. Even if this situation has led Europe to renewable energy sources, Europe does not have the opportunity to produce alternative sources in the short term. We cannot predict how long this situation will last and what changes will occur in natural gas-oil prices. As a matter of fact, Europe announces new
precautionary plans, which we follow almost every day in the international and national press. There are serious sanctions and measures to save energy in workplaces, homes, and public and private facilities. In recent years, we have strengthened the infrastructure of our national transmission network through Türkiye’s geographical location and advantages in energy geopolitics. Due to the energy crisis, TANAP, TurkStream and TurkStream-2 pipelines are of great importance for regional stability and the international energy market. We prioritize the necessary investments, together with the technical in- frastructure, compressor and measurement stations, in order to expand the natural gas pipeline capacities. We are working to increase TANAP’s capacity from 16 billion cubic meters to 32 billion cubic meters. We are talking about a huge pipeline network that we have built with TANAP from Türkiye to Europe. Our TurkStream project is directly connected to our national transmission system. The other pipeline, which we call TurkStream-2, also supplies gas to Europe over Bulgaria.
Looking at it from the perspective of our coun- try, we enter the winter period more comfortably because our natural gas tanks have a hundred percent occupancy rate. We are in the process of increasing our Silivri Underground Natural Gas Storage to 4.6 billion cubic meters and our Salt Lake Underground Natural Gas Storage from 1.2 billion cubic meters to 5.2 billion cubic meters by the end of the year. We get a lot of questions from our citizens about the subsidy. Unlike European countries, we have reflected this process to our citizens at a minimum level with 80 percent subsi- dies, and our stability in this area continues. Last year’s data shows that the subsidy amount for natural gas alone is approximately TRY 80 billion. There were also periods when the subsidy of nat- ural gas reached 80 percent. Currently, this figure remains at 75 percent. This support will continue until the end of the year. In recent years, we have been using the advantages of strengthening the infrastructure of our national transmission network
with the advantages of Türkiye’s geographical location and its importance in energy geopolitics. We will witness the positive effects of this situation more easily with the inclusion of Black Sea gas in the system in the first quarter of 2023.
The natural gas discovery made by Türkiye in the Black Sea is also widely covered in the foreign press. We keep diver- sifying our exploration routes in our Anatolian geography. We have completed the laying process of the pipeline that we placed under the sea to deliver the Black Sea gas to the land. The estimate we announced at the Sakarya Gas Field was an exploration of 405 billion cubic meters. This is a reserve of 540 billion cubic meters. We keep working on the new exploration wells that we drilled for exploratory purposes.
Our Abdülhamid Han drilling ship has also completed its work at the Yörükler-1 field. As our President of the Republic of Türkiye has also stated, the good news that the reserve amount may be revised as a result of activities may come to the agenda in the upcoming days. Hopefully, in 2023, we will start using Black Sea gas in our homes together with all our citizens. In 4 years, hopefully, we will meet all the gas in our houses from our Black Sea gas. Considering the point we have reached in the last 3 years, from natural gas
discovery to production, there is no country in the world that has produced and developed such huge projects in such a short time. The impact of the fluctuation created by energy prices continues on a global scale. On the other hand, the investments we maintain in Türkiye, especially during the energy crisis, are of great importance for Europe, which is in search of an alternative route. We are nearing the end of our strategy that will make Türkiye an energy hub.
We also maintain our activities on the floating LNG storage and regasification unit (FSRU). We commissioned two units in Izmir and Hatay. The work at the Saros FSRU Terminal, which is under construction, is also nearing its end. Hope- fully, we plan to commission our third facility at the end of this year. It is a great advantage for us that each region of our country has different energy dynamics. All our efforts
are for Türkiye to become a centre for both gas trade and distribution. Since many pipelines pass through the Thrace region, our distribution centre will mainly be in this region. As a result, with the inclusion of Black Sea gas in the system, we will both take steps towards the source country and continue to flow gas from the source countries that we are geographically close to. We have already mentioned the demands of the countries regarding the purchase of gas from Türkiye. In line with these demands, we plan to bring together the source and demand countries by organizing a gas conference. As one of the countries with the richest resource input and diversity, we spread our activities in energy diplomacy to wide geographies.
Russia, Azerbaijan, and Iran are the countries with which we cooperate in the field of natural gas. New collaborations, regional investments, and the goal of creating a market and market will always be at the centre of our work. We can see the positive reflections of the political and economic moves of our President of the Republic of Türkiye in the international arena in the field of energy. We had been trading liquefied natural gas (LNG) with Gulf countries, especially Qatar. We also positively maintain our efforts to add Oman, which we have been in contact with in the past months, to our network.
Algeria and Libya, where we supply LNG and oil products, are among our significant strategic partners in the field of energy in North Africa. In the past couple of weeks, we announced that we will establish a joint hydrocarbon explo- ration company with Algeria. As we proved our operational capability, especially in our seas, our reliability in our energy diplomacy gradually increased. We have intensely been receiving offers from Asian Pacific and African countries regarding our recent activities. We maintain our activities with the USA on LNG. We also maintain our natural gas and oil trade with nearly 15 countries from different regions. With the purpose of keeping the negative effects of the energy crisis at a minimum, we maintain our efforts to take our relations with existing countries to the next level and to further expand our energy diplomacy to various lands.
Finally, under our vision of the “Century of Türkiye”, we weave our country with our pipelines, fill the underground with our natural gas storage capacity, and increase the energy capacities of our cities. Following the change and transformation experienced as a result of the energy crisis, we are rebuilding both in the international arena and in the region under our Türkiye-centred perspective. Türkiye is on its way to becoming a source country with Black Sea gas. We are creating our own energy corridor in Türkiye. We aim to create a transparent and reliable market where all countries included in this circle can cooperate within the framework of the win-win logic.