Gökhan Kurtaran- ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
TÜPRAŞ, Turkey’s sole oil refinery, is a big buyer of Iranian crude oil. DHA photo
Turkey has already started looking at Saudi Arabian oil to ensure its economic stability and compensate imports from Iran due to United States pressure to cut its links with its eastern neighbor, said Turkey’s top energy experts yesterday.
“Turkey could not resist the pressure from U.S. for a long time,” Necdet Pamir, board member at World Energy Council Turkish National Committee, told the Hürriyet Daily News in a phone interview.
Pamir’s statements followed the European Union’s decision yesterday to slap an oil embargo against Iran’s oil exports. Turkish officials are currently in talk with the Saudi Arabia to compensate Turkey’s 30 percent crude oil import from Iran, Pamir said. “Saudi Arabia remains the only country that could increase it oil production capacity by 3.5 million barrels per day,” said Pamir, adding that currently total crude oil export of Iranremains nearly 2.4 million barrels.
Turkey imports nearly 30.6 percent of its crude oil from Iran which rose to 217,000 barrels per day in last year. However, if all the countries rush for Saudi oil at the same time, Turkey might face some sourcing problems, he said. “A one dollar jump in price-per-barrel adds $170 million to Turkey’s bill,” said Pamir. “If Iran closes Strait of Hormuz as it threatens, the prices per barrel might reach $180,” said Hasan Selim Özerden, Eurasian expert from International Strategic Research Organization (USAK). He said Turkey, which recently accepted an early warning radar system deployed at a military base near Malatya in eastern Turkey, might be exempted from joining western alliance sanctions on Iran.