Russia’s Gazprom expects increase in Turkish natural gas purchases

Russian energy giant Gazprom expects an increase in the purchase of natural gas by Turkey in the remainder of the year.

Turkey’s government has slashed the amount of the fuel it buys from Russia and Iran this year. At the same time, it has increased purchases of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the United States and Qatar and natural gas from Azerbaijan during an economic slump and as it sought to diversify supply and cut costs.

"The demand for natural gas in Turkey was determined by factors such as price level, as well as the state of the Turkish economy,” said Sergey Komlev, head of Gazprom’s pricing and contract structuring department, according to Russia’s state-run TASS news agency.

“We assume that this will lead to the fact that the volume of purchases of Russian natural gas will increase in Turkey. Perhaps it will not be able to compensate for the decline in the first half of the year.”

Turkey is Russia’s top natural gas purchaser after Germany. But Gazprom’s share of the Turkish market has plunged to 33 percent in 2019 from 52 percent two years earlier.

Cheaper gas for Turkey means more leverage in price negotiations with Russia, Dimitar Bechev, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center, said in an analysis of the country’s energy strategy on July 31.