In February 1986, based on an Intergovernmental Agreement dated September 18, 1984, a contract was signed with Turkey’s BOTAŞ company for supplying up to 6 bcm of gas per year for over 25 years (1987-2011). The first deliveries of natural gas to Turkey from the Soviet Union began in June 1987, by transit via Romania and Bulgaria using the specially-constructed Trans-Balkan pipeline.

In 1998, a long-term contract was signed with BOTAŞ for supplying an additional 8 bcm per year via this route through 2022, inclusive.

Until 2003, natural gas was delivered to Turkey only by transit through Ukraine, Moldova, Romania, and Bulgaria. In 2003, gas started flowing through the Blue Stream pipeline under a Gazexport-BOTAŞ contract dated December 15, 1997 and based on an Intergovernmental Agreement on Russian gas supply to Turkey via the Black Sea. The maximum annual capacity for supply via this route is 16 bcm.

The BOTAŞ state pipeline company was founded by the TPAO state oil company in 1974 in accordance with a Turkish government resolution. BOTAŞ has engaged in gas trading and transportation since 1986.

Until recently, BOTAŞ had exclusive rights to oversee and structure the gas market in Turkey. With the aim of accession to the European Union, the Turkish government enacted a Natural Gas Market Act that entailed gradually eliminating the gas import monopoly by having BOTAS transfer pre-contracted gas volumes to private sector importers, on a tender basis (and subject to the gas seller’s approval).

Given the deregulation of Turkey’s gas market, Gazprom Export in 2007 and in 2012 signed contracts with the private companies that gained the rights to import gas into Turkey. The contracts allow for supplying up to 14 bcm a year of Russian gas to Turkey.

As at December 31, 2015, over 391 bcm of natural gas had been supplied to Turkey since the beginning of supplies. Supply volumes for 2015 came to 27.02 bcm.

On December 1, 2014, Gazprom Management Committee Chairman Alexey Miller and BOTAŞ Board of Directors Chairman Mehmet Konuk signed a memorandum of understanding on building a subsea gas pipeline across the Black Sea in the direction of Turkey. This new pipeline will have an annual capacity of 63 bcm, including 14 bcm for Turkish consumers and around 50 bcm to the Turkish-Greek border, where a delivery point will be organized. The pipeline’s starting point should be the Russkaya compressor station in the Krasnodar Region.

On June 22, 2015, Turkey has issued a permit on engineering surveys for the offshore section of Turkish Stream. The document stipulates that investigations will be carried out within the exclusive economic zone and territorial waters of Turkey in order to place the first offshore string of the gas pipeline.

Related news:

Five European countries support Russian gas supplies via Turkey – 07.04.2015

Gazprom and Botas agree to review price on Russian gas – 27.02.2015

South Stream Offshore pipeline in Turkish waters will have no negative environmental impact – 25.12.2013

Gazprom Export supports TOBB-ETÜ students – 20.11.2013

Scoping Report for the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) of the South Stream Offshore Pipeline in Turkey published – 18.07.2013

Turkey allows private companies to import Russian gas via the Western route – 29.11.2012

Gazprom Group came to the assistance of Turkey once again – 19.10.2012

Turkey expressed gratitude to Russia for increasing gas shipment to make up for force-major disruptions – 12.10.2012