Turkey Talking Energy with Russia

The Russian president recently visited Turkey as the two countries are looking to increase bilateral trade from its current level of $32 billion to around $100 billion. This is an ambitious target, and is largely dependent on the Turkish energy imports.

During the first 10 months of this year Russia exported $21.8 billion worth of goods to Turkey, while Turkey exported just $5.5 billion worth of goods to Russia. While Russia mainly exports energy, Turkey exports equipment, machinery and food products to Russia.

Russia may also be an alternative for replacing the declining oil exports from Iran to Turkey. Apparently Russia is willing to increase its gas supplies to the country if requested to do so by Ankara, as Russia has increased to gas supplies to Turkey in the past. If a joint agreement can be reached it is possible that Russia would agree to do so again.

There are nine deals that are due to be signed during the Russian president’s visit to Turkey. Russia already has two main pipelines supplying gas to Turkey, and is its largest gas provider. There is the Blue Stream pipeline that carries 16 billion m³ of fuel, and the West Line that has a 6 billion m³ capacity. The West Line is due to be used by four private firms as opposed to being used by the Turkish state.

In addition Russia is building the first nuclear power plant in southern Turkey, in the province of Mersin and is hopeful of being involved in the construction of future nuclear power plants. At the moment Turkey’s priority is to get a second nuclear power plant built, and Japan, Canada, China and South Korea are competing for the contract.