Russia has agreed to increase its natural gas sales from next month to Turkey, which risks a power shortage amid increasing demand, an official for the Turkish state-run oil and natural gas company BOTAS said Friday.
"Russia will provide us with an additional six million cubic metres (210 million cubic feet) of gas per day in November and December," the official, who declined to be named, told AFP.
The additional purchase would increase the daily natural gas flow from the current 31 million cubic metres (1.08 billion cubic feet) to 37 million cubic metres (1.29 billion cubic feet), he added.
Russia had also agreed to increase its supply for the first three months of next year by two million cubic metres (70 million cubic feet), which would haul the overall daily flow to 39 million cubic metres (1.36 billion cubic feet), he said.
Turkey asked its main natural gas supplier, Russia, to increase its gas sales -- through a pipeline via Ukraine, Romania and Bulgaria -- during a visit earlier in the week by Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov.
Turkey's daily natural gas demand is forecast to reach 60.3 million cubic metres (2.11 billion cubic feet) in November and 66.6 million cubic metres (2.33 billion cubic feet) in January, according to the energy ministry.
The country consumed 12 billion cubic metres (420 billion cubic feet) of natural gas in 1999, 9.5 billion cubic metres (333 billion cubic feet) of which came from Russia and the rest from Algeria as liquefied natural gas, according to BOTAS figures.
Turkey uses natural gas for household heating in its major cities, and also converts some into electricity to meet its increasing demand for power.
The government recently ordered a series of energy-saving measures after water levels in three main dams in the southeast dropped significantly due to a severe drought, forcing cutbacks in power production.
Turkey and Russia are working on another gas pipeline project, dubbed Blue Stream, which will stretch from the southern Russian gas plant of Izobilnoy, across the Black Sea floor, to the Turkish coastal city of Samsun.
In February this year, they began construction of the 1,213-kilometre (758-mile) pipeline, which will deliver eight billion cubic metres (280 billion cubic feet) of gas to Turkey per year once it becomes operational in autumn 2001.—AFP.
©--Agence France Presse.
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)