(Zaman) - After taking a giant leap in oil transportation with the Samsun-Ceyhan pipeline, Turkey has become the focus of interest for major oil refining companies.
The decision by Turkeys Calik Energy to undertake a $4.9 billion investment in a Ceyhan refinery with a yearly capacity of 15 million tons together with its Indian partner, Indian Oil, prompted Russian giant Lukoil to take action, reports Trend.
After applying to the Energy Market Regulatory Agency (EPDK) for a license last month, Lukoil chairman Vagit Alekperov met the agencys head Yusuf Gunay yesterday.
The Russian company wants to establish a refinery with a capacity of 8-10 million tons in Zonguldak, a Turkish province along the western Black Sea coast region, but Alekperov declared the realization of this $3-billion investment depends on the appropriation of land and tax discounts.
The project is expected to take five years to complete, and its future will be determined following detailed talks with the government.
At a joint press conference with Alekperov, EPDK head Yusuf Gunay said that in the past month alone they have handled applications for future investments totaling more than $9 billion, Lukoil included.
Turkey currently has a refinery deficit of nearly 20 percent and imported approximately six million tons of oil last year to meet the countrys demand for oil, Gunay said, Its estimated the deficit for oil products will exceed 15 million tons in
line with the increasing demand for diesel oil over the next decade. This deficit can be recouped through either imports or by an increase in Turkeys refinery capacity.
Alekperov stated talks for possible financial partnerships will be held after technical and economic calculations for the project are complete; discussions which have yet to start. He added they chose Zonguldak for its proximity to Turkeys major cities, namely Istanbul and Ankara.
After informing press members that they also plan to start operations in the distribution sector, the Lukoil chairman said, Oil stations with the Lukoil logo will be opened by September. Weve started to transport supplies from our refineries in Bulgaria and Romania.
Alekperov added Lukoil will increase competition (in Turkeys oil market) as a company that operates at all stages, from the well to the oil pump at the station. Tough competition will bring fairer prices.
Lukoils chairman asked Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan for his support for the project when he visited him together with Energy Minister Hilmi Guler.