Tripoli: March 30
Turkey is looking to buy up to 20,000 barrels per day of Libyan oil to make up for a . . .[restrict]ten percent cut in its Iranian liftings, made in response to tightening US sanctions, said its energy minister today.
Taner Yildiz speaking in Ankara announced the ten percent reduction in the 200,000 bpd his country takes from Iran . He said that part of the lost supplies would be made up with the purchase of a million tonnes (seven million barrels) of crude from Libya. He added that Turkey was also in talks with Saudi Arabia for both spot purchases and longer term supply contracts. Other countries would also be approached to broaden the supply base.
Yildiz did not reveal if negotiations with the Libyan National Oil company were already taking place or if indeed a deal had been concluded. No one could be reached at the NOC today for comment.
Separately today Koç Holdings, owner of Tüpra?, Turkey’s only oil refiner, told the Istanbul Stock Exchange that it was cutting its purchase of Iranian crude by 20 percent. Tüpra? currently buys 30 percent of its crude from Iran in a contract that is due to run out in August.
Turkey is turning to Libya and other crude and product suppliers because of pressure from Washington, which wants economic sanctions on Iran to force the country to reveal full details of its nuclear enrichment programme. The US wants other states to have responded to its proposals by June 28.
The timing of Yildiz’s announcement was interesting, coming as it did hours after Turkish premier Recep Tayyip Erdo?an returned from a two day visit to Tehran. It is likely that on April 13, Istanbul will host fresh talks between Iran, the US, EU, Russia, China and the Iranians over the nuclear issue.