Energy Giant OMV to Invest in Natural Gas in Turkey

Energy Giant OMV to Invest in Natural Gas in Turkey

Austria’s OMV Gas, which entered Turkey’s energy market by purchasing 34 percent of Petrol Ofisi (PO) for $1.05 billion, is also interested in the country’s natural gas import.

Werner Auli, the company’s executive board director, said they started preparations for such an investment after the market had been liberalized.

While the company remains undecided about what method they will use, Auli said they will consider strategic partnership, purchasing or entering the market.

Auli mentioned the strategic importance of Nabucco, the natural gas pipeline project held by Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, and Hungary, describing it as an important corridor meeting Europe’s natural gas needs.

Auli spoke to Zaman about the world natural gas market and the policy followed by Russia against the project to meet Europe’s three percent natural gas need. ”The Russians are not certainly the biggest supporter for the project but it cannot be said they are a serious competitor either.”

Pointing out Nabucco is just one of the solutions to meet Europe’s increasing natural gas need, the OMV executive director said Russia was transferring its own natural gas to the European markets by using northern corridors.

Auli said Caspian natural gas would meet Central and Western Europe’s needs with Nabucco and added the line could be extended to Italy from under the Adriatic Sea if necessary.

Auli added OMV has been in natural gas and oil distribution partnership with Russia’s Gazprom for over 40 years: ”We cannot say the Nabucco project is the Russians’ favorite but we cannot also say they are very angry about it.”

Mentioning issues on energy security, Auli said possible security problems to halt oil and natural gas transfer would cause no serious problems for them because they possess enough strategic reserves for three months.

Stating they had no expectations that such a problem would take place, Auli said the demand level emerging with the balance of supply and demand was resulting in a controlling effect under current market conditions.

Auli maintained biological fuels and measures to reduce demands or increase efficiency have considerably decreased concerns on energy shortage.

Concerning possible halts in oil and gas transfer from Russia due to the country’s broken relationships with Ukraine and Georgia, Auli said ”These are short problems,” and stated they have no concerns about the energy supply in the future.

OMV executive director also mentioned the importance of strategic reserves and termed Turkey’s lack of natural gas storing capacity as a serious defect.

”However, the government is working on this as far as I know,” Auli said.

Stating Turkey had a very attractive natural gas market, Auli said: ”We have borders with the world’s biggest natural gas suppliers. This is very important in terms of the natural gas market. Besides, serving as a secure bridge in distributing natural gas to the world, Turkey also guarantees meeting its own needs.”

Auli stated Turkey is in a very good condition for distribution and has high quality natural gas and said it has a brighter future than Austria.

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