With a booming population and, despite a recent slowdown, industrial growth averaging around eight per cent throughout the 1990s, Turkey's energy market looks set for major expansion over the next 1O years
With domestic energy supply parting company at an increasingly rapid rate from demand, energy has become a central political, as well as economic, issue for successive Turkish governments.
The Turkish National Pipeline Company (BOTAS) estimates that general energy demand in the country will rise by an average 6.7 per cent over the next decade, with Turkey's ability to meet its needs from domestic resources and existing overseas suppliers significantly failing to keep up. The result has been a scramble for pipelines, trade agreements and domestic resource development projects that by the year 2010 may see Turkey at the hub of a veritable web of international energy connections.
Internally, Turkey has limited quantities of oil and gas available, with most of its oilfields located in the troubled south east of the country, around the cities of Batman and Kahta.
These produce 21,000 tons of oil per day, a figure the Turkish State Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) hopes to increase with the development of many new wells. In addition, TPAO is exploring around 200 new sites in the Raman oil zone of Batman province in the hope of further increasing production.
Research is also being undertaken into offshore sites, particularly in the Mediterranean at Iskenderun, in the Bay of Antalya, and along the Black Sea coast.
A small natural gas field exists in the Sea of Marmara, but this is fast approaching the end of its days as a producer and looks likely to be used in the future as a depot for imported natural gas.
Turkey also possesses coal reserves, mainly in the Black Sea region around the traditional mining centre of Zonguldak, and in the southeast. In 1997, a total of 57.4 million tons of brown coal or lignite was produced, accounting for around 29 per cent of the country's domestic energy production.
However, most of the country's domestic energy comes from other sources. Of Turkey's 1997 installed capacity total of 21,889mw, 46 per cent came from hydroelectric power stations. Principal among these are those on the Euphrates and Tigris rivers - again in the southeast - which form part of the ambitious South East Anatolian Development Project (GAP), a comprehensive power and irrigation development that has soaked up considerable amounts of state...