BAKU (Eurasianet)–Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz confirmed that Azerbaijan will soon raise the price of natural gas exported to Turkey, Azerbaijani and Russian media outlets reported on May 15.
Azerbaijan currently charges Turkey $120 per 1,000 cubic meters – a fee substantially lower than that offered by other suppliers. According to a 1996 contract signed by Baku and Ankara, Turkey is entitled to 6.6 billion cubic meters of gas per year from Azerbaijan’s giant Shah Deniz field. The contract stipulates that the signatories can revise the price to accommodate changing market realities.
During a mid-May visit to Baku by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Azerbaijani and Turkish officials discussed a new price agreement, but kept the details under wraps. After the talks, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev gave assurances that the upcoming price hike is not connected to potential geopolitical shifts in the region, an expression used to reference recent signs of a potential Turkish-Armenian rapprochement.
“We will pursue the policy of diversification of gas exports,” the APA news agency quoted Aliyev as saying. He promised that the policy will take into account the interest of “brotherly” nations.