Turkey doubling Europe in natural gas prices

The cost of natural gas arriving in Turkey, ranging between $ 250 to 280 per thousand cubic metres, is double the amount of European countries, where the average is between $110 and $120, Deutsche Welle Turkish reported.

Turkey is worse off than European countries like Belgium, Ireland and Germany, while ranking close with Slovenia and Hungary, when comparing the ratio of natural gas prices and minimum wage, DW Turkish said citing data from the European Statistical Office.

Turkey’s price hikes on natural gas reached a total of 37 percent throughout 2019, while minimum wage increased by only 15 percent for 2020, from $340 to $390.

Minimum wage workers spend 10 percent of their income on natural gas alone, a study by the Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects (TMMOB) found. With power and water bills, spending on utilities goes up to 20 percent, TMMOB said.

While TurkStream, a joint pipeline project to bring Russian gas to Turkey over the Black Sea instead of through Ukraine and Romania inaugurated earlier this month, provides security of supply, it did not lead to any price deductions in gas contracts, DW Turkish said.

“Natural gas prices are calculated over the average of nine months of petroleum product prices. We can say that this pricing method is ongoing. In other words, there is no change in pricing,” it quoted former head of Turkey’s national gas company BOTAŞ Arif Aktürk as saying.

The TurkStream could lead to prices dropping five percent in Bulgaria, but for Turkey the reduction would be at around two percent, Global Energy Association Chairman Murat Dilek told DW Turkish.

BOTAŞ held off on price hikes before the local elections in March of last year, while energy prices and the foreign currency exchange rates continued to increase, Dilek said, and as such, a price reduction was not likely.