Türkiye-Europe Energy Cooperation

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Since Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, it has become clear that the Black Sea and especially Southern European countries are facing serious energy supply-security problems. In this crisis environment, energy has become more important to maintain access to industrial and residential electricity, to expand the electrification network and to realize growth. After the food crisis was temporarily solved with Turkey’s mediation following the “Grain Corridor” agreement, Turkey became a favorite of many countries as an alternative solution to the energy crisis.

In order to expand its role as a natural gas supplier in Southeastern Europe, Turkey has increased its natural gas supply by signing agreements with many countries in the region. Turkey will start supplying 2 million cubic meters of natural gas per day to Moldova from October 2023. This comes at a time when Turkey aims to become an alternative supplier to smaller gas markets in southeastern Europe. In addition to this agreement with Moldova, Turkey has recently signed gas supply agreements with other countries in the region. These include Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary. These agreements are part of Turkey’s efforts to play a larger role in the regional energy market by utilizing its extensive liquefied gas (LNG) import infrastructure. [1]

An energy agreement was also reached with Romania, the second non-“neighboring” country. BOTAŞ signed a short-term supply agreement with OMV Petrom, a Romanian gas producer and distributor, for the delivery of 4 million cubic meters of natural gas per day from October 1, 2023. The Turkish company will receive gas from Azerbaijan and Russia and deliver it via Greece and Bulgaria, and the contract will expire on March 31, 2036. BOTAŞ and OMV Petrom also agreed to cooperate in gas transmission, storage, production and green energy technologies. This agreement is in line with BOTAŞ’s objectives to increase its presence in Eastern and Southern Europe. [2]

One of the main reasons for their cooperation is Turkey’s ambitions to play a role in European efforts to end Russian energy dependence. Energy transmission in the Balkans and Eastern Europe with high risk factors has opened a new playing field for Turkey in this area. The cubic meters of natural gas in the transmission values has turned into an export deal that will dominate the majority of the Bulgarian and Romanian markets in particular.

Turkey’s advanced energy transmission and distribution infrastructure due to its position as a transit country enables the Turkic States, especially Azerbaijan, to reach new markets. It has been stated that Baku is the biggest alternative to European states as a producer country. Energy-rich Azerbaijan is one of the countries that can help fill the gap. Here is the statement made by EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen during her visit to Baku in July 2022:

“That is why the European Union has decided to move away from Russia and towards more reliable partners. And I am pleased to count you as one of those partners. You are indeed a critical energy partner for us and you have always been reliable.”

Baku has already increased its gas supplies to Europe by about a third. The gas is delivered through the TANAP pipeline, which runs through Turkey to Greece, where it is connected to European pipelines.

It is clear that Turkey’s transit importance will continue to grow. Turkmenistan’s large gas reserves could also become an important source of gas for Europe. This gas could be transported to the West via the TANAP pipeline, which runs through Turkey via Azerbaijan. In light of this, it is foreseen that the European states bordering the Black Sea will potentially become buyers of Turkish Black Sea gas.

[1] “Turkey To Begin Supplying Moldova with Natural Gas from October”, Natural Gas World,, (Erişim Tarihi: 28.09.2023).

[2] “Turkey To Deliver Gas to Romania This Winter”, Upstream Energy Explored,, (Erişim Tarihi: 27.09.2023).

[3] “Turkey Seeking Role in Europe’s Bid to End Russian Energy Dependency”, Voa,, (Erişim Tarihi: 27.09.2023).

Ömer Faruk PEKGÖZ
Ömer Faruk PEKGÖZ
Gazi Üniversitesi-Enerji Sistemleri Mühendisliği