Turkey 'concerned' about the privatization of oil industry in Iraq, says Yildiz
TBILISI - Northern Iraqi oil has not yet been exported to international markets, Turkish energy minister Taner Yildiz has said.
Speaking on Wednesday in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi, Yildiz said: "Oil in the region belongs to Iraq, and our Iraqi brothers will present the oil to the international market," adding that Turkey's role would be to just transfer the oil when the Iraqis decided to sell.
"Two-point-two million barrels of oil are currently stored [in Turkey's Ceyhan Port] and 100,000 barrels of crude oil flows every day now. I think storage will be over within 3-4 days. If Iraq transmits, we transfer and sell their oil to the international markets."
The tanks at the Ceyhan port, located in the southern province of Adana on the Mediterranean coast, have a storage capacity of 2.5 million barrels of crude oil, which flows via the Kirkuk–Ceyhan Oil Pipeline.
- Oil privatization
Yildiz stated that Turkey’s oil-refining company, Turkish Petroleum Refineries Corporation, could buy crude oil from Iraq if it needed, but it was not in need now.
Questioned about the privatization of Iraq's oil pipelines, Yildiz said that Turkey was concerned about the issue, adding: "We will share details in the upcoming period."
Iraq wants to privatize the whole oil sector in the country, including the pipelines.
In November 2013, Turkish and Kurdish regional administration officials signed an agreement that would enable Kurdish oil to flow from Kirkuk to the port of Ceyhan on Turkey's south-eastern Mediterranean coast.
- Electricity imports reduced
Meanwhile, Turkey will reduce electricity imports from Georgia this year, Yildiz said, adding that Turkey and Georgia occasionally exported and imported electricity mutually.
Turkish exports and imports of electricity from neighboring countries such as Bulgaria, Iran, Georgia and Greece depend on levels of production.
Last week, minister Yildiz announced that Turkey would import electricity from Iran, saying: "Our hydropower capacity is low, due to a lack of rain, so we import electricity from Iran."
Yildiz also disclosed that Turkey has attained 66,000 megawatts (MW) in installed electricity capacity.
Last year, Turkey had about 57,000 MW of electricity and country. It is attempting to increase its installed electricity capacity to 100,000 MW by 2023.
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