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Turks Seek Gas Licenses

Thirteen Turkish companies applied to the energy-market regulator for licenses to import natural gas from Russia.

The companies include Aygaz, owned by Koc Holding, OMV and Aksa Dogalgaz, a unit of Kazanci Holding.

Some of the companies have signed gas purchase agreements with Gazprom, the state-run Anatolia news agency reported over the weekend.

The companies will compete for 6 billion cubic meters of gas, about 15 percent of Turkey's annual consumption, which state pipeline company Botas imported from Russia via Bulgaria under a contract that expired at the end of last year, according to the agency. The pipeline supplies gas mainly to Istanbul.

The firms are required to set up facilities within five years to store as much as 10 percent of their annual gas imports after starting operations, the agency said. The regulator last year rejected all 26 firms that applied for gas import licenses because they failed to sign contracts with Gazprom, it said.

(Bloomberg)

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