Turkey's liquefied natural gas (LNG) import dropped 41.3% in the first half of the year compared to the same period of 2020, as LNG prices hit record-high levels on international markets.
According to Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EMRA) data compiled by Anadolu Agency, Turkey imported 30.3 billion cubic meters of natural gas during the January-June period of this year.
Total natural gas imports increased by 35% during this period compared to the first half of last year.
LNG accounted for 20% of Turkey's total natural gas imports with 6 billion cubic meters in the first six months of this year.
However, during the same period last year, LNG imports amounted to 10.3 billion cubic meters, out of the total of 22.5 billion cubic meters of natural gas import.
In the January-June period last year, LNG held a 45.7% share out of the country's total natural gas imports.
Ali Arif Akturk, a board member of Izmir Gaz, told Anadolu Agency that natural gas and LNG prices on international markets were lower last year due to cheaper oil prices.
He explained that Turkey's Petroleum Pipeline Company (BOTAS) imported a significant amount of LNG last year to benefit from low prices but this year LNG prices worldwide hit record levels and this directly reflected on Turkey's LNG imports.
Last year, LNG prices were $4.5-5 per million British Thermal Unit (mmBtu) while prices are around $13-14 per mmBtu this year. Higher oil prices, increasing carbon prices and demand in Europe due to the extremely hot weather conditions and growing consumption with the recovery from the pandemic led the record increase in prices,' Akturk said.
Oil prices climbed to as high as $75 a barrel after multiyear low levels.
- Qatar drops off list of biggest LNG suppliers to Turkey
Turkey, importing LNG both on long-term contracts and spot cargoes, received half of its LNG imports during the first half of this year through long-term contracts with Algeria, importing 3.1 billion cubic meters.
During this period, LNG imports from the US fell by 11.5% down to 1.8 billion cubic meters, while Nigeria supplied Turkey’s remaining LNG imports.
Qatar, which was one of the biggest LNG suppliers to Turkey, did not supply any LNG during the first half of the year.
Akturk surmised that a price level in the region of $7 to $9 would be ideal not to damage the market and enable production to continue.
By Nuran Erkul Kaya