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Turkey to Purchase Oil from Iraq Instead of Iran

Turkey to Purchase Oil from Iraq Instead of Iran

Tuesday, 4 June, 2019 - 10:30
A worker walks at Nahr Bin Umar oil field, north of Basra, Iraq December 21, 2015. Reuters/Essam Al-Sudani/File Photo
Ankara - Saeed Abdelrazek

The State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) is due to purchase crude oil from Iraq next month to process at the SOCAR Turkey Aegean Refinery (STAR) inaugurated in October 2018 in Izmir.

SOCAR Turkey CEO Zaur Gahramanov said the refineries that rely on Iranian crude oil might face future problems due to US sanctions, and that his firm doesn’t wish to violate the sanctions by importing oil or exporting fuel to Tehran.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev recently inaugurated the refinery. It will have an annual crude processing capacity of ten million tons and 214,000 barrels per day.

The US decision to end exemptions to sanctions on Iranian oil imports became effective on May 2. Turkey abided by the decision despite its previous rejection.

Gahramanov remarked that 1.5 million tons of crude oil has been processed at the STAR Refinery so far, adding: "We plan to process 8 million tons of crude oil by the end of the year. As of next month, we will start buying Iraqi oil from the Arabian Gulf."

SOCAR Turkey will supply 700,000 tons of jet fuel to Istanbul Airport on an annual basis, Gahramanov said. He also spoke about distributing oil derivatives throughout the Turkish market starting July.

In other economic news, former central bank governor Durmus Yilmaz warned that the country is still in the midst of a recession, adding that the economy had contracted 2.6 percent on an annual basis.

"Despite government spending increasing 7.2 percent within the scope of our domestic demand-based growth model, the economy shrank 2.6 percent," he said on Twitter.

Turkey’s political situation has been unstable since the results of the Istanbul mayoral race were canceled and the vote was set for a re-run on June 23.

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