Russian company Gazprom and four Turkish companies have signed an agreement on imports of Russian gas to Turkey via the Western Route, the Zaman newspaper reported with reference to a source in the Turkish Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EPDK).
Companies that signed the agreement are Akfel Gaz, BosphorusGaz, Kibar Holding and İndex Holding.
The agreement on imports of Russian gas to Turkey, signed earlier by the Turkish company Botas and Russian Gazprom, expires in September 2012.
In June, the Turkish Energy Ministry jointly with the EPDK drafted a bill, under which the country's private sector will be able to import natural gas to Turkey. Private sector of Turkey will receive a license to import gas from countries, with which Turkey has gas agreements, and from countries with which cooperation has not yet been established in this field.
Private companies, which will deal with import of gas will be required to keep ten percent of the imported gas in gas storage facilities of Turkey, particularly in the gas storage of TPAO (Turkish Petroleum Corporation) in Silivri.
According to the Turkish state pipeline company Botas, in 2011, Turkey imported 39.7 billion cubic meters of gas. Russia ranks first among countries exporting gas to Turkey, which is followed by Iran and Azerbaijan.