Turkey needs ‘$10 decrease in oil prices’ to maintain demand

Turkey needs ‘$10 decrease in oil prices’ to maintain demand

ANKARA - Reuters
Turkey needs ‘$10 decrease in oil prices’ to maintain demand

Energy Minister Taner Yıldız says Turkey needs a $10 reduction in oil prices. AFP photo

Turkey would be able to maintain its surging oil demand as long as oil prices were kept $10 lower than the current rate, Energy Minister Taner Yıldız said Sept.2.

“There has not been any decrease in Turkey’s oil demand yet, but Turkey can maintain its oil demand as long as the prices are $10 lower per barrel than the present,” he noted, adding that it was not good to make some estimates about the oil prices right now.

After the army had overthrown the civil government and some high prospects over a possible Western intervention on Syria had appeared, oil prices increased up to $116 per barrel. Brent crude oil fell in volatile trade last week ahead, as the Obama administration made a case for a “limited” strike against Syria, but the prices are still around $114.

Oil prices are now much higher than they should be, according to Yıldız. “I do believe that the prices would not increase up to $150. If so, the worldwide growth rates would have sunken. The oil prices need to decrease, not to increase more. It is not sustainable for the world to maintain high oil consumption levels,” Yıldız said.

A $300-million burden has emerged on Turkey’s energy expenses due to the oil prices’ jump aroused by the Egyptian incidents, Yıldız noted.

China interested in $12 billion project in Turkey

Taner Yıldız said Turkey had now held talks with China as well as South Korea for the Afşin Elbistan power plant. “Whether the UAE’s TAQA will decide to delay investment in Afşin-Elbistan basin or will go ahead with it. We have started to talk with China as well as South Korea. And Chinese firms are very enthusiastic about the project,” he said.

Turkey’s state-owned Electricity Generation Co (EÜAŞ) and TAQA agreed in January on a project worth up to $12 billion to build several power plants using the lignite coal reserves of Turkey’s Afşin-Elbistan region, but TAQA announced last week that it would delay the construction of the project.