Turkey Reaches 100% UNGS Storage Capacity

As winter nears, Turkey has filled its underground natural gas storage units to the brim, confident to be immune from the energy aftershock of the Russia-Ukraine crisis.

Turkey Reaches 100% UNGS Storage CapacityIn October, the state-owned Petroleum Pipeline Corporation (Botas) announced that the country’s two underground natural gas facilities have reached a “storage capacity of 100 percent.” With respective storage capacities of 4.6 billion cubic meters (bcm) and 1.2 bcm, the two facilities should provide enough gas to cover about 10 percent of annual consumption, according to Botas.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently said his country is impacted by the global energy crunch but is not expected to face any disruptions this winter. Ali Arif Akturk, an energy researcher and expert, said Türkiye is not facing shortages this winter like the European continent. “We are not expecting a shortage or cut in Russian natural gas supplies,” he told Xinhua, saying the good relations between Ankara and Moscow would prevent any gas supply disruptions to Turkey. “Gas shortage to Türkiye is not likely as Russia would like to export its gas to willing nations,” he said.

The expert, however, warned that in times of crisis, the current gas storage facilities would not satisfy the needs of major cities such as Istanbul and Ankara, the two largest cities with a total population of over 21 million people, which are also industrial hubs consuming huge amounts of natural gas.

The annual gas consumption in Turkey rose from 48 bcm in 2020 to a record 60 bcm in 2021 and is expected to reach 62 bcm to 63 bcm this year, according to official figures. Mehmet Dogan, another energy analyst, warned that sooner rather than later Turkey has to take measures to reduce its dependency on Russian gas in order not to be affected by future energy crises. “This crisis has shown us that we can’t rely on foreign imports, we need to develop our renewable energy resources,” he said on his Twitter account.

The country has reserves under the Black Sea yet to be developed and limited local sources in the European part of the country. Turkey is heavily reliant on gas imports, from both pipelines and LNG (liquefied natural gas), with Russia being the top gas supplier.

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