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MOSCOW, Oct 1 (Reuters) - Russian natural gas producer Gazprom said on Wednesday its gas flows to Turkey were set to reach a record high of 30 billion cubic metres this year from 25.6 bcm last year on rising demand.
Gazprom also reiterated that it had agreed with Turkey to increase the capacity of the Blue Stream underwater gas pipeline to 19 billion cubic metres (bcm) from 16 bcm.
Turkish demand for gas has more than tripled since 2000 to almost 47 billion cubic metres, with further increases expected as both its economy and population grow. The country’s total energy bill stands at around $60 billion annually.
Turkey has asked Gazprom for gas price cuts, however it was not immediately clear if the Russian company had agreed to any concessions.
The increase came as Turkey, the second-largest consumer of Russian gas after Germany, sided with Gazprom on the South Stream undersea gas pipeline project to Europe.
The future of the 2,400-km (1,490-mile) line from Russia via the Black Sea to Bulgaria and from there further into the European Union, avoiding Ukraine, has been cast into doubt due to Russia’s role in Ukrainian conflict. (Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin, Editing by Elizabeth Piper)