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The ruling party in Turkey on Wednesday proposed a reform of the natural gas market to make it competitive and diversified in a move to advance its plan to become a natural gas hub.
The ruling AK Party submitted a bill to Parliament today that would allow both state firm BOTAS and foreign companies to trade and import natural gas, Reuters reports. The bill also proposed a spin-off of the gas supply and gas infrastructure operations of BOTAS, in a bid to encourage free trade and competition.
Turkey currently imports all the natural gas it needs via pipelines and LNG import facilities. The country is also betting on recent gas discoveries in the Black Sea to slash its gas imports and diversify its energy sources.
But Turkey has big plans to become a hub for natural gas supply and trading - an idea floated at the end of last year by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Turkey is preparing to potentially host a gas hub for Russian and other gas, although that may not be politically palatable to the EU.
At the end of last year, Erdogan and Putin agreed to set up a natural gas hub in Turkey, the Turkish president said at the end of October.
A week earlier, Putin had suggested that Russia redirect natural gas supplies intended for the damaged Nord Stream pipelines to the Black Sea in order to create a European gas hub in Turkey.
European officials and analysts are concerned that such a hub could mask Russia’s gas and have Europe import it.
Since Putin first suggested the creation of the gas hub in Turkey, the two countries have not wasted time and instructed in October their respective energy regulators to immediately begin technical work to make the Russian proposal a reality.
“There will be no waiting” on this issue, Erdogan has said, as carried by AP.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.