Angered by Air Strikes, Turkey's Erdogan Warns Russia on Energy Ties

"No gas entry from Thrace means the end of Turkey as that gas pipeline feeds all of Istanbul and the Marmara region. There is no alternative pipeline system that can bring this gas."

Turkey could look to boost purchases of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Nigeria and Algeria to plug a potential gas shortage, although that would be a costly option for a country whose annual energy imports bill already exceeds $50 billion.

It is already looking to increase gas imports from Turkmenistan, currently a marginal supplier, but energy analysts say Russia has blocked such moves. Erdogan is due to visit Turkmenistan on Monday.

The Trans-Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP), in which Turkey has a 30 percent stake, is expected to bring Turkey 6 bcm of Azeri gas but only after mid-2018 when the pipeline becomes operational.

Turkey's surplus in electricity generation means it can afford to live without a nuclear power plant for several years to come.

"Turkey is not dependant on nuclear energy right now," a Turkish energy official said. "There is an overcapacity in power right now, which will continue until 2020... So if the nuclear plant is not built right away, that won't create a problem.

(Additional reporting by Orhan Coskun; Writing by Humeyra Pamuk and Daren Butler; Editing by Nick Tattersall and Timothy Heritage)


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