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Turkey Defers $600-Million Payment For Russian Energy To 2024

Turkey has opted to defer until 2024 as much as $600 million in payments to Russia for natural gas deliveries, anonymous sources told Reuters on Wednesday.

Last week, Turkey’s Energy Minister Fatih Donmez said that the country had reached a deal with Russian gas giant Gazprom to defer part of the payments Turkey owes for natural gas supplies after the price jump last year.

Turkey, a major importer of energy products, has seen its public finances deteriorate since the beginning of the energy crisis and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which sent oil and natural gas prices soaring in 2022.

Under the terms of the Turkey-Russia deal on payment postponements, Turkey could defer up to $4 billion of its energy import bill from Russia, according to Reuters’ sources.

“Officially a payment worth $600 million has been postponed to next year. The increase in energy prices had a huge impact on this,” one of the sources familiar with the agreement told Reuters today. 

Turkey is targeting natural gas independence with recent huge finds of gas in the Black Sea and the start of gas transmission from the Sakarya Gas Field last month.

In April, Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Dönmez told broadcaster CNN Türk that the volumes of natural gas that Turkey had found in the Black Sea were worth more than $500 billion. The huge gas finds would be enough to supply all households in the country for 35 years, or to cover total Turkish natural gas consumption, including from industry, for 15 to 20 years, the minister added.

The newly developed gas fields are set to go a long way toward Turkey’s energy diversification. So far, the country has mostly relied on imports to procure energy supply. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has hit Turkey’s economy and energy prices hard and has made energy imports much more expensive for Ankara.  

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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