The ongoing tension between Turkey and Russia makes Turkey’s dependence on foreign energy perhaps the country’s biggest concern. And this begins with natural gas, which passed oil in 2012 to become Turkey’s main source of energy. Turkey imports 99% of its gas, and Russia pipes in nearly 60% of Turkey’s total gas use.
Turkey is the second largest consumer of Russian gas and paid Gazprom some $10 billion last year. Iran supplies 20% of Turkey’s gas and Azerbaijan 10%, all via pipeline. LNG, mainly from two countries (Algeria and Nigeria), supplies about 13% of the country’s gas. As an OECD Member, and thus a member of the IEA, Turkey has been advised to diversify away from Russian gas, and Russia may also be looking elsewhere (e.g., China, India) in its response to the downing of its warplane by Turkey in November.
There does indeed appear to be a growing organized effort to squeeze Russian energy firms out of Europe, but for Turkey in particular, an interruption in gas flows from Russia would severely damage the economy. The “Turkish Stream” planned gas pipeline project to link Russia and Turkey was shelved in December.
Falling over the years, The Institute for 21st Century Energy ranks Turkey’s Energy Security as 20% LOWER than the OECD Average. Of the 25 countries ranked, Turkey ranks near the bottom at 23rd for “natural gas import exposure.” But, it’s actually even worse since natural gas is far more important in Turkey than the only two countries ranked below it, France and Spain.