Our TRT/Istanbul: Will Turkey be Russia’s new gas hub to Europe? Can Putin save his gas sector? What’s Erdogan’s game?

We began at timestamp 1:00 minute, after TRT’s lead-in story.

With guests:

  • Dr. Thomas O’Donnell: Energy Analyst, in Berlin
  • Eser Özdil of Glocal Group Consulting; and Former President of The Turkish Petroleum and Natural Gas Platform Association. He is also an external fellow of the Atlantic Council in Washington, DC.

and Host Ayse Suberker of TRT TV’s Straight Talk from Istanbul.

We analyzed what Putin aims to achieve, and why President Erdogan of Turkey has so rapidly accepted this proposal. This is obviously, I said, a scheme by Putin to try to save his natural gas business to Europe.

But, the likelihood of this new project to re-pipe and sell this stranded gas to Europe and elsewhere in world via a “new gas hub” in Turkey, is highly unlikely to succeed, and, as I pointed out, it is likely that the entire plan is only posturing by both president Putin and Erdogan, each for their own geo-economic and geostrategic reasons.

In addition, Mr. Eser Özil, my co-guest, added some interesting technical and market points, including the difficulty of building the required pipelines in the current situation of sanctions on Russia for its war against Ukraine. He also made the important point that one supplier does not a “hub” make; this would require a diversity of suppliers to provide gas to Turkey to resell to Europe.

For myself, aside from technical comments, as I said in another press interview, before Erdogan accepted (to Al Ghad TV, Cairo): “Putin tempts Erdogan, ‘Take Nord Stream gas at a Turkish hub. Sell the EU my gas. Forget NATO.’ Putin’s ‘Gas Godfather’ games become pathetic.”

However, I added that there are many military-equipment, Mideast- geopolitical and energy-resource concessions Erdogan wants very badly from, respectively, the USA, from the USA and Israel, and from every country around the East Mediterranean, where any new gas discoveries, whether they lie inside recognized Turkish territorial waters or not, have been subject to maneuvers by his government, laying claims of ownership.

It is a relatively short discussion (12.5 minutes) and, I think, worth the time.

PS: Just to emphasize the fiasco Putin has brought on Russia by killing its gas business with Europe (i.e., by weaponizing it and cutting it off, etc.):

The huge (world’s 2nd, 3rd and 4th largest) gas fields on the Urengoy peninsula that are connected into the Nord Stream 1 & 2 and other large pipelines across Belarus, Poland and especially Ukraine, are now essentially “stranded assets” with little or no future outlets and likely to be unwanted (i.e., sanctioned at some point in the near future) and, within about 3-5 years, unneeded in Europe as other abundant gas resources are developed and converted into LNG for export by firms in the USA, Qatar, Norway, Algeria, Egypt and Israel, in Africa, Australia, the Caribbean area, and etc. . In several years, Europe simply won’t need Russian gas.

This is a disaster for Russia only a couple points down below the disaster of Putin’s badly faltering war against Ukraine.

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