ANKARA Feb 2 Royal Dutch Shell has won a
tender that will make it the first company to take over some
distribution of imported natural gas in Turkey from state
company Botas, which is having to relinquish its monopoly.
A senior Botas official said on Friday that Shell (RDSa.L)
(RDSb.L) had bid $2.1 million for the contract to sell 3.75
billion cubic metres (bcm) of Russian gas by 2022.
Botas, which has contracts to import 25 bcm of gas a year
from Russia, Iran, Algeria and Nigeria annually, plans to
transfer 16 bcm of these contracts as part of a law on market
liberalisation, drafted by the World Bank.
Russian gas export monopoly Gazprom GAZPPE.RTS(GAZPq.L)
has agreed to the transfer of the contract to Shell, the
official told Reuters.
"We have seen a letter of invitation to Russia for the
transfer of the contract to Shell. We are planning to sign this
three-party contract protocol this month," the official added.
Russian and Turkish antitrust agency approvals are required
to complete the transfer of the import contracts.
The new law obliges Botas to cut its ownership of gas
contracts to below 20 percent of national consumption by the end
Bosphorus Gaz, which includes Gazprom, and local companies
Enerko and Avrasya will follow Shell in the market.
An energy official said the transfer of a contract to Shell
was the right step for gas market liberalisation.
"But we should not be satisfied with this. Botas should
transfer more gas volume and its monopoly should be abolished
completely," the official said.