Büyükelçi Ertaş'ın "geniş Karadeniz Bölgesinde Enerji Güvenliği, Bölgenin Avrupa Enerji Güvenliği Bağlamındaki Rolü" Başlıklı Konuşması (ingilizce) , 21.11.2014
Address by H.E. Koray Ertaş, Ambassador of Turkey
at the “Energy Security in the Wider
Black Sea Region, contributor to the European energy security” (Forecast 2035)
Bucharest, November 19, 2014
Palace of Parliament (N. Iorga Hall, N.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is my
distinct pleasure to be able to share with you the Turkish perspective on the importance
of our region in ensuring energy security of Europe. I thank the organizers,
notably Mr. Chifu, for gathering important dignitaries from all around the
world to discuss important aspects of energy issues, which are so vital for our
here does not need a lecture on the importance of energy in our daily lives.
Even a short interruption of energy supplies affecting our households and
businesses has a big political, economic, and social price in our modern
societies. There is almost no instance of our lives where we do not use energy in
one way or other, either for traveling, cooking, heating, cooling, producing,
or what have you.
All projections show an increase in the global energy
demand in the decades to come. In addition, fossil fuels would continue to be
the main energy resource. While fossil fuel consumption rapidly grows in the developed
world, their domestic production decreases. As regards to Europe, including
Turkey, most nations are already heavily dependent on foreign resources, at
levels reaching to almost 100 percent in some cases.
This brings us to the topic of this panel discussion:
secure transportation of oil and gas through our region to further west.
gas are largely transported in tankers or through pipelines. While tankers can
run through the open seas, pipelines need to cross territories belonging to
other states. That is where the geopolitics often begins, as it is not only the
energy needs or economics that determine a pipeline but also the politics of
it. Hence, through pipelines run not only oil or gas but politics as well, as
we have been vividly seeing during renewed disputes between Russia and Ukraine.
As demand for energy surges
worldwide, energy security is increasingly associated with foreign policy,
national security, economic welfare and global stability. Affordable and uninterrupted flow of energy resources
are of significant importance for the development of our countries.
As net energy importers we need to diversify energy
supplies through various routes and find new
sources for additional hydrocarbon imports. For the suppliers, notably in
land-locked locations, like the Caspian basin, secure pipeline transportation
is vital. Therefore, secure transit routes are vital not only for consumers but
also for producers.
allow me to elaborate on what Turkey, as both a major consumer and a transit
country, is doing to contribute to upstream and downstream countries as a
secure transit route.
has neighbors on its east, south, and north, which are among the major
producers of gas and oil. Located in a
unique geostrategic area between the EU, Russia, Central Asia and the Middle
East, Turkey stands as a key transit corridor between producers and European consumer
The Caspian area has significant oil and natural
gas reserves from both offshore deposits in the Caspian Sea and onshore fields
in the basin. Traditionally an oil-producing area, the region's importance as a
natural gas producer is growing quickly. The South Caucasus and Central Asia
contain about 3 to 4 percent of the world’s oil reserves and 4 to 6 percent of
the world’s gas reserves.
Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline and
Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum (BTE) natural gas pipeline constituted a turning point in
shaping the political landscape of the region. These pipelines changed the
status quo in the region. The BTE gas line runs alongside the BTC for much of
its length. The capacity of the BTC is 1.2 million barrels per day, while that
of the BTE is well enough to carry the volumes from Azerbaijan to BOTAŞ main
gas pipeline system. The BTC and BTE pipelines play a special role in Turkish –
Azeri relations, providing a concrete bridge between the two countries.
Later, the implementation of the Turkey-Greece
Interconnector enhanced the EU’s energy supply security by contributing to EU’s
efforts to diversify energy sources and routes.
Turkey has been a staunch supporter of the Southern
Gas Corridor which will supply gas from the Greater Caspian basin and the Middle
East to European markets. When realized, this would be the fourth hydrocarbon
route to Europe and has the backing of the EU.
Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) project will be
the main component of the Corridor. Designed by Turkey and Azerbaijan, TANAP initially
aims to supply to Turkey 6 bcm of gas from Shah Deniz Phase 2 and transport a
further 10 bcm to Europe. The Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) will carry the
Azeri gas to Europe beyond TANAP. The
legal framework for TANAP has been set and it is planned that the first gas
flow to Turkey will take place at the end of 2018 following the completion of
the construction phase and in 2019 the gas will be delivered to Europe through
TAP, connecting with TANAP at the Turkish - Greek border. Once TANAP is
commissioned, the newly discovered Azeri gas fields and other Caspian resources,
notably the Turkmen gas could also be supplied to Europe via TANAP, thus
further contributing to EU energy supply security.
Turkey-Bulgaria Interconnector is another project
currently under review within the Southern Gas Corridor. A Joint Working Group
was established to prepare prefeasibility report and action plan. Technical
meetings are underway. This will enable both countries to diversify natural gas
supply routes and increase resilience against unexpected natural gas crises. Turkey
– Bulgaria interconnector project will pave the way for the delivery of Caspian
gas to Bulgaria and beyond. A further connection could be examined on linking
the line to the Romanian grid. We believe that such interconnections will play
a crucial role for the energy security of South Eastern Europe.
Iraq also offers a great
potential for a new natural gas source nation for Europe. According to IEA
estimates in 2012, Iraq could provide 20 bcm/y of gas to world markets by 2035.
However, political instability in the country makes us to be cautious to say
the least, if not pessimistic. We hope that Baghdad and Erbil reach a quick
solution on revenue sharing and clear an important hurdle before a great
opportunity for energy trade, regional welfare and interdependence.
Finally, the new gas discoveries in the Eastern
Mediterranean can either be an opportunity or a liability for the resolution of
ongoing conflicts in the region. Hydrocarbon research and exploration
activities in Eastern Mediterranean should be handled through an integrated and
holistic approach which would cover the entire region. Turkey could serve as a
reliable transit to send volumes to head up to Europe. The gas could be
supplied to Europe via Turkey along the Southern Gas Corridor, using both the
domestic and transit transportation systems in Turkey. We hope that the newly
discovered resources would bring peace and prosperity to the region.
sum up, Turkey will continue to support
transit projects across its territory to contribute to Europe’s energy security
as a major reliable transit country for the Caspian and Middle Eastern energy
resources. It has the capacity to offer secure transportation in a large
volatile region; a vast experience accumulated through years of building and
operating various gas and oil pipelines; and most importantly a political
vision based on a win-win perspective, rather than zero-sum calculations.