Turkey halts gas imports to Greece due to supply problems

Turkey?s gas imports from Azerbaijan and Iran tumbled on Tuesday due to technical problems in both countries, Turkish officials said, slashing supply to the country of 75 million people as it faces growing pressure to meet high winter demand.

Gas flow into Turkey from the two countries dropped to a daily 6-7 million cubic meters from a usual 40 mcm, but Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said the problems were not affecting Turkish gas consumers or electricity supply.

Daily gas consumption has surged in fast-growing Turkey to 192 mcm from around 171 mcm a year ago.

Energy demand is also higher now due to unusually low temperatures.

?Despite all these negative factors, our citizens are not facing any problem,? Yildiz told reporters.

?A measure regarding industry is not currently on the agenda,? he added.

Azeri gas exports from the Shah Deniz platform stopped late on Monday after a technical problem, but production at the field was expected to resume late yesterday, a spokeswoman for operator BP said.

?During planned maintenance work on a power system at the Shah Deniz platform, a malfunction occurred which triggered the automatic shutdown of the platform,? the spokeswoman said.

?We did suspend gas exports from the terminal at around the same time [on Monday]. The platform will be restarted as soon as the maintenance activities are complete, which is planned for this evening.?

The officials also said Turkey had halted gas supplies to Greece due to the cut in Azeri gas supply and that it had asked Iran to increase its supply.