Moscow is gaining more influence through new deals to provide natural gas for Europe and might become the sole supplier in the continent soon, experts say.
Russia’s Gazprom has taken another step forward in a fierce competition to carry natural gas to the European Union after a hot week of deals, share transfers and critical decisions. The EU’s decision last week to “directly” negotiate a treaty with Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan was a move that weakened Turkey’s position in both buying and transferring natural gas to Europe, according to Necdet Pamir, a board member at the World Energy Council Turkish National Committee.
Turkey has already signed “unbeneficial” accords regarding Nabucco, the languishing project to carry Caspian gas to Europe, according to Pamir. “Nabucco is an important project for both Europe and Turkey in terms of supply security,” he told the Hürriyet Daily News, adding that current contracts are not in Turkey’s favor.
Note this, as well:
Turkey is a slave to the natural gas lobby, according to the economy minister.
“Even countries that produce natural gas or have resources do not use the fuel as much as Turkey does in electricity production,” Minister Zafer Çağlayan told the press in Ankara during a Wednesday meeting with business representatives from the Aegean province of İzmir.
“Our energy infrastructure depends on oil and natural gas. Some 52 percent of our electricity production is from natural gas. It is not diversified. Turkey has become a slave to the natural gas lobby,” the minister said.
Turkey consumed 39 billion cubic meters of natural gas in 2009, according to BP’s traditional report on world energy. Only 2.2 percent of the sum was domestic production.
On Tuesday, the Greek Cypriot government, which has been at loggerheads with Turkey since its military invasion of north Cyprus in 1974, said drilling had begun in a southeastern offshore block, adjoining a gas field in Israeli waters reputed to be the world's largest find of the past decade.
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan described the offshore drilling by Cyprus and Turkey's estranged ally Israel as "madness" before signing the deal with the Turkish Cypriots to clear the path for Turkish exploration off northern Cyprus. ...
The row over hydrocarbon reserves erupted as relations between Turkey and Israel broke down over Israel's refusal to apologise for killing Turkish activists aboard a ship carrying aid to Palestinians in Gaza last year.
I'm not a conspiracy theorist or a Marxist, but when economic motives for a state's behavior are staring you in the face like this, you'd have to be insane to overlook them.