Tüpraş renews oil contract with Iran

Tüpraş renews oil contract with Iran

LONDON - Reuters
Tüpraş renews oil contract with Iran

Tüpraş will buy the same amount of oil from Iran in 2012 that it did in 2011, according to industry sources. DHA photo

Tüpraş, Turkey’s sole oil refinery, has renewed a crude oil purchase deal with Iran and in 2012 will buy a similar amount of oil as this year, according to industry sources familiar with the matter.

Tüpraş has had an annual crude oil purchase contract with Iran for many years and the parties have agreed on the 2012 deal, one industry source said.

Tüpraş has no plans for now to purchase extra amounts from the neighboring country, sources said.
Crude oil imports to Turkey have become more crucial for Iran as the European Union and the United Nations increase sanctions on the Islamic Republic allegedly seeking to develop nuclear weapons.

Turkey and Greece are among the countries most reliant on Iranian crude, which makes up more than 30 percent of both countries’ total oil imports, according to the International Energy Agency’s latest data.

Tüpraş purchased 7.41 million tons of crude from Iran in 2010, according to its website, which makes up for almost 38 percent of the 19.6 million tons of crude it refined that year.

As for 2011, Tüpraş CEO Yavuz Erkut said, at a press meeting on Dec. 5 , that his company had bought 9 million tons of crude.

Crude oil sales are excluded from the sanctions, but with the looming U.S. presidential elections, anti-Iran rhetoric has increased in Washington. Intensifying U.S. pressure on Iran is supported by trading partners like Europe and China, top buyers of Iranian crude.

However, Sinopec, China’s largest refiner, said it will decrease the amount of crude oil it buys from Iran by half in January.

Analysts said Tüpraş is set to process this year nearly 21 million tons of crude, while the percentage of Iranian crude is likely to rise to above 40 percent due to the price advantage. Another industry source said the amount Tüpraş agreed to buy for 2012 was “more or less the same” with 2011.