Turkey hits LNG import record in first half of 2019
Turkey's liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports reached a record high at 7.14 billion cubic meters in the first half of 2019, according to Turkey's Energy Market Regulatory Authority's (EMRA) data.
The share of LNG in natural gas imports surpassed 30% for the first time in the January-June period out of the total of 23.29 billion cubic meters of natural gas imports.
The country had imported 6.24 billion cubic meters in the first half of 2018 and 5.52 billion cubic meters during the same period of 2017, which corresponded to 24% and 19% of total gas imports, respectively.
As a result, the amount of total LNG imports in the January-June period increased 14% in 2019, compared to the same period of 2018.
The share and amount of LNG imports accelerated despite the drop in Turkey's total natural gas imports in the first half of the year.
In total, Turkey imported 23.29 billion cubic meters of natural gas via pipelines and LNG terminals in the first half of 2019 — a 10% decrease from 25.95 billion cubic meters from the same period a year ago.
The decline in gas imports resulted from the low demand from gas-fired power plants in the electricity sector. In fact, winter was relatively soft and renewable power production — especially from hydropower generation — reached peak levels through spring 2019.
LNG imports from US see more than fourfold jump
Turkey imported 884 million cubic meters (mcm) of natural gas as LNG from the U.S. over the January-June 2019 period, greatly surpassing that of the previous year of 191 mcm, marking a 463% boost.
In the January-June period of 2019, U.S. LNG constituted 12% of total LNG imports and 3.8% of total natural gas imports.
The increased share of U.S. LNG in Turkey's gas imports was also echoed in U.S. LNG export data.
Turkey became the second biggest LNG importer from the U.S. in Europe and Central Asia after Spain, since the U.S. started exporting domestically produced LNG in February 2016, the U.S. Department of Energy's LNG Monthly report shows.