Ankara to discuss ‘strategic oil and gas cooperation’ with Iran at WEC 2016

Business Materials 30 May 2016 14:29

Tehran, Iran, May 30

By Mehdi Sepahvand - Trend:

Ankara is considering a new approach to Iran aiming to supply a great part of its imported oil and gas from the neighboring country.

"During the upcoming World Energy Conference, we will discuss strategic cooperation regarding oil and gas with Iran," Hasan Murat Mercan, the chairman of the Organizing Committee of World Energy Congress (WEC) 2016 said, addressing the 11th International Energy Conference in Tehran, Trend's correspondent reported from the event May 30.

"Turkey needs to integrate its energy capabilities with Iran," Mercan said. "Iran will be one in the spotlight, because it will be the first time after the lift of sanctions that Iran exposes itself to the international community of this magnitude."

WEC 2016 is scheduled to be held from September 9 to 13 in Istanbul, Turkey, brining over 100 ministers and 10,000 delegations from around the globe. The previous round of the triennial congress was held in South Korea.

According to Mercan, Turkey hopes to bring some heads of state to the event as well.

Imports make up 92 percent of Turkey's oil and gas consumption. Iran supplies about 30% of Turkey's gas needs. Iran must supply Turkey with a maximum of 10 billion cubic meters of natural gas a year under a 25-year deal signed in 1996. Turkey consumed 50 bcm of gas last year.

Turkey imported more than 1 million barrels of oil and it byproducts such as naphtha and liquefied natural gas in 2015. Despite fluctuations, the Mediterranean country's long-term average oil import from Iran stands at 100,000 bpd.

Turkey currently has two crude oil import pipelines from Azerbaijan and a pipeline from northern Iraq to Ceyhan, Turkey. The Iraq pipeline has two branches.

The original line of the Iraq pipeline stretches from the Iraq-Turkey border to Kirkuk, Iraq. However, little oil has flown this way since the 'Islamic State' terrorist group (ISIS, ISIL or Daesh) began seizing territory in the area in early 2014 and the pipeline was sabotaged.

More recently, the operating part of the Iraq-Ceyhan pipeline was sabotaged in July 2015, resulting in the pipeline being out of service for a week. The BTC pipeline has also been targeted in the past - i August 2008, an explosion in eastern Turkey forced the pipeline to be shut down for over two weeks.