GÖKHAN KURTARAN - ISTANBUL
Europe should understand the importance of security in order to transfer Iraqi gas and oil to markets, says Yıldız. DAILY NEWS photo, Emrah GÜREL
Terror attacks in Turkey’s southern region, which carry a significant importance in country’s transit role in transferring Iraqi and Caspian oil and gas to European markets, risk not only Turkey’s position but also energy security of European countries, according to energy minister.
“The energy security is not just Turkey’s problem, but also carries a great importance for European countries,” said Taner Yıldız told the Hürriyet Daily News on the sidelines of Atlantic Council, Black Sea Energy & Economic Forum in Istanbul yesterday.
“European countries should also understand the necessity of maintaining security in the region in order to transfer Iraqi gas and oil to European markets,” he said.
Turkey’s role in transferring Iraq’s resources to European countries recently reduces energy dependency on Russia, Yıldız said, adding that “in that sense, security in the region means energy security for Europe,” concerning the southern corridor.
Yıldız said Turkish government closely monitors the developments in the region, adding that, “Turkey expects the disputes between Northern Iraqi government and central government of Iraq to find resolution.”
Turkey would increase the capacity of the Kirkuk-Ceyhan crude oil pipeline between Iraq and Turkey, which was initially made operational for the export of crude oil without taking the risk of passing through the Persian Gulf from 1980 to 1988.
“We want to use this line to full capacity,” Yıldız said. The total capacity of the pipeline is 1.6 million barrels a day with length of 970 kilometers. The pipeline has been under attack and subject to prolonged closures, however a considerable amount of investment has been made for the repair and refurbishment operations on this pipeline.
“Nabucco pipeline responsibility is not just on the shoulders of Turkey, but on other countries as well,” said Yıldız referring to European energy companies including OMV of Austria, MOL of Hungary, Transgaz of Romania, Botaş of Turkey, RWE of Germany, Bulgargaz of Bulgaria, each with a share of 16.67 percent in Nabucco consortium.
“There is no change in Turkey’s position regarding to transferring no gas from northern Iraq through Turkey without Bagdad’s permission.” Yıldız said response to a statement by Hussein al-Shahristani, Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister on Nov.13 cautioning to Exxon against pursuit of oil deals in Northern Iraq.
“Energy security should have the top priority of all the nations in the region, should not be seen as a source of fighting but cooperation,” said Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan addressing to the participants of the top level energy meeting.
Thursday, November 17, 2011