The Official Gazette yesterday published the details of the Şahdeniz Natural Gas agreement, signed in the beginning of June with Azerbaijan. According to that agreement, 2 million cubic meters of natural gas will be given back to Azerbaijan. Turkish officials claim that it will, however, put an end to the risk of being obliged to pay for the unused gas. The agreement, however, excludes Turkey as an intermediary for the export of Azerbaijani gas to Greece. Turkey has been exporting 750 million cubic meters of Azerbaijani natural gas to Greece each year. With this change, Turkey forgoes its only natural gas export right and has become a mere transport route. The agreement will start to be enforced after the approval of Turkish and Azerbaijani approval.
As part of the June agreement, 6.6 million cubic meters of natural gas will be brought to Turkey from the Şahdeniz I natural gas field in the Caspian sea and Turkey will give 1.2 million cubic meters of this gas to Petkim, a petrochemicals producer subsidiary of the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR), which will then also export it to Greece, Bulgaria and Syria.
Turkey has natural gas trade agreements also with Russia, Iran, Algeria and Nigeria but it does not have the right to export the gas it buys from them to third countries. The only supplier country with which Turkey agreed to sell its gas was Azerbaijan. An Energy and Natural Resources Ministry official who wished to remain anonymous told Today’s Zaman that the relevant article in the agreement was approved as a risk-aversion measure. “With this agreement, Turkey will nullify the risk of ‘use or pay.’ Besides, Turkey has been making profit from the natural gas it sells to Greece,” the official said.