01 Oct 2004

The Turkish Gate

Energy Transit and Security Issues

John Roberts

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EU-Turkey Working Paper No. 11, 26 pages

This paper sets out Turkey’s current and potential role in the supply of gas to Europe, starting with the EU’s need for gas, the geography of global gas disposition and Turkey’s importance as a natural funnel through which the EU can access gas from many of the world’s leading gas suppliers. It also places Turkey’s role in the context of EU reliance on Russia as its largest single supplier of gas. It deals with the existing and potential pipeline infrastructure for gas supplies to Europe via Turkey and discusses what role the EU is already playing, and might be expected to play in the future, with regard to ensuring its energy security by means of pipeline development to carry gas to the EU market via Turkey.
Gas is the prime focus of the paper. Although oil security is of obvious importance to the EU and Turkey is a major transit country for oil supplies, essentially the problem of ensuring oil security for the EU is, in geographical terms, a global one. This is essentially a consequence of the fungibility of oil. Oil issues are therefore covered in an appendix.