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Turkey Seeks to Boost Russian Natural Gas Supplies, Novak Says

Turkey asked Russia to increase natural gas supplies by 3 billion cubic meters a year, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said.

OAO Gazprom, Russia’s natural-gas export monopoly, agreed to consider expanding the Blue Stream pipeline running under the Black Sea, he told reporters today in Istanbul. It may also use South Stream, a planned offshore pipeline from Russia to Bulgaria, he said. Bulgaria is already used as a transit country for Russian gas supplies to Turkey via the so-called western route, he said.

“It’s all just on the drawing board at the moment,” Novak said at the briefing after President Vladimir Putin met with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The request for additional gas is for “the near future,” he said.

Turkey is the second-largest export market after Germany for state-owned Gazprom, according to the Moscow-based company’s export unit. The company ships gas to Turkey via the Transbalkan pipeline through Ukraine, Moldova, Romania and Bulgaria as well as via the direct Blue Stream underwater link. Turkey, along with Bulgaria, agreed to give a Gazprom-led venture use of its Black Sea territorial waters to build the 10 billion-euro ($13 billion) South Stream pipeline.

Russia’s long-term gas contracts with Turkey cover 30 billion cubic meters a year. Deliveries will increase to about 27 billion cubic meters this year from 26 billion cubic meters in 2011, Novak said.

Russia also ships about 2 million tons of crude to Turkey annually.

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