ISTANBUL - Reuters
Turkey finds Total’s interest in TANAP normal, Minister Yıldız says. AA photo
Turkey will continue to buy similar amounts of oil from Iran
after Dec. 3, when its exemption from U.S. sanctions ends, according to Energy Minister Taner Yıldız.
“I think the actual amounts of oil we buy from both Iran
and other countries will not change,” Yıldız said, responding to journalists’ questions during a wind energy meeting facilitated by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in Istanbul, on the evening of Nov. 7.
The U.S. has exempted Turkey from its oil and gas sanctions on Iran
- which are claimed to work against the Islamic Republic’s alleged nuclear weapons program - for some time, along with India, South Korea, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Taiwan.
However, U.S. sources said Turkey’s position was not an exemption but an exception. “I always mention that we would like to diversify [oil sources] with countries such as Saudi Arabia, Libya and Russia. New countries may be added to this list,” Yıldız said.
New partners in pipeline
Commenting on recent interest from BP, Statoil and Total in the Trans-Anatolia Pipeline (TANAP), the multibillion dollar Turkey-Azerbaijan project to carry Caspian gas to the West, Yıldız said Total’s move would not bother Turkey. The Turkish Foreign Ministry said earlier this month that it would reconsider Turkey’s investments in companies which would partner with Greek
Cyprus in Mediterranean energy exploration. The four new companies that Greek
Cyprus says it will bargain with on the issue include France’s Total.