Turkey has postponed a natural gas summit due to be held on February 14-15 until March 22, an energy official said on Feb. 10, after a major earthquake hit its southeastern region.

Setting up a gas hub in Turkey was first proposed by Russia's President Vladimir Putin after explosions damaged Russia's Nord Stream gas pipelines under the Baltic Sea.

Turkey, currently imports all its gas needs and has extensive LNG import infrastructure. Ankara believes it can leverage its existing and new trade relations to become a gas hub.

Turkey also plans to start offshore gas production this year and ramp-up output over the next few years.

Separately, the Kremlin said on Feb. 9 that the implementation of the Turkish hub had been delayed.

Some Western capitals were concerned that a Turkish hub including Russian gas could allow Moscow to mask exports that are sanctioned by the West over Russia's invasion of Ukraine.