Turkey Pulls Multiple Energy Policy Levers

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Energy-poor Turkey is doing its best to increase domestic oil and gas output, diversifying its import sources and investing in energy efficiency, renewables and nuclear power. A report on Turkey presented by the International Energy Agency (IEA) on Thursday noted that the country currently depends on imports for 93% of the oil it needs and 97% of the gas. Last year, state-owned TPAO announced a major gas discovery in Turkish waters of the Black Sea, the Sakarya field. But there has been some skepticism around the claims Turkey has made about the size of the find (IOD Oct.19'20). During a virtual presentation of the IEA report, Deputy Energy Minister Alparslan Bayraktar said TPAO continues to drill in the surrounding area, which could yield additional gas and turn Sakarya into a "real game-changer" for Turkey. "Production will start in 2023, a very ambitious and challenging target, and reach plateau [production] level in 2026. We believe there is significant potential in this area," he added. However, neither TPAO nor the government have provided guidance yet on the expected production volumes from Sakarya. LNG Imports LNG is playing an important role in Turkey's efforts to diversify gas supply. "In 2018 LNG was 22% in our gas supply mix ... last year 31% of gas supply came to Turkey in LNG form," Bayraktar explained. "Long story short, in the last four years, we quadrupled our regasification capacity," he added. As for oil, an upstream law introduced in 2014 appears to have stemmed the decline in domestic output and enabled a modest recovery. Oil production now stands at 63,000 barrels per day, up from 47,000 b/d in 2014 (IOD Mar.3'14). Ankara is also pushing hard to expand the use of renewable energy. "In the last 10 years, the average annual installed renewable capacity increase rate was 11%," Bayraktar said. This put Turkey at "13th in the world in installed renewable capacity, with almost 9,000 megawatts of wind and 7,000 MW of solar," he added. IEA analyst Divya Reddy said Ankara "intends to expand the use of renewables by commissioning, 10 gigawatts each of solar and wind capacity over the period 2017-27." The report noted that some $10.9 billion of investment in energy efficiency is planned through 2023, which should cut energy consumption by 14% and yield cumulative savings of over $30 billion by 2033 (at 2017 prices). Nuclear power is also central to Turkey's plans. The first of four reactors at the Akkuyu plant -- the country's first -- is expected to start up by 2023, with all four reactors -- a combined capacity of 4.8 GW -- on line by 2026. By the end of the decade, Turkey intends to have three nuclear plants operating. Rafiq Latta, Nicosia

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