Local industries demand underwater oil exploration

Local industries demand underwater oil exploration

ISTANBUL-Anatolia News Agency
Local industries demand underwater oil exploration

Cars line up in busy Istabul traffic. Turkey imports 624,000 barrels of oil per day to meet demand. AA photo

Turkey should continue its natural gas and oil explorations in the sea, according to the head of the Petroleum Platform Association (PETFORM) Orhan Duran, expressing fresh support to the government policy to exploit underwater energy sources.

Turkey produces 47,000 barrels of oil per day on land, while importing 624,000 barrels, demonstrating Turkey’s foreign energy dependency, Duran said at a press meeting in Istanbul Feb. 28. The rate of imported natural gas is 98 percent of Turkey’s total domestic consumption.

“It is said that there are potential reserves of 3.5 trillion cubic meters of natural gas in the Eastern Mediterranean. Efforts to explore [energy sources] in the sea in order to meet Turkey’s domestic energy demand should continue and should be supported,” he said, adding that the Turkish Petroleum Company (TPAO) was working to agree co-investments with foreign energy firms off the southern coast of Turkey.

Duran also suggested a “Turkish Airlines-like” privatization and autonomy model would turn TPAO in to a more dynamic decision-making body, with some units sold off.

According to PETFORM estimates, the Brent oil price will trade in the band of $110-120 this year, so long as no problems arise from Iran and the Strait of Hormuz, Duran said.

“Nobody should expect prices to fall below $100. If a risk such as Iran blocking the Strait of Hormuz arises, it should not be a surprise to see oil prices hitting unexpected levels,” he said, noting that every $10 rise in oil prices costs the Turkish economy an additional $4 billion in its current account deficit.

PETFORM was established in 2000, by domestic and foreign companies active in the exploration, production, processing, storage, transmission and refining of crude oil and natural gas.