Turkey’s state-run energy company plans to invest $2.3 bln abroad in 2016
Merve Erdil - ISTANBULTurkey’s state-run energy company, Turkish Petroleum (TP), has invested over $1 billion abroad so far and plans to invest a further $2.3 billion, said the company’s chief, adding TP’s priority was ongoing investments in the Shahdeniz fields and in Iraq.
“We have invested more than $1 billion abroad so far and our plan is to make $2.3 billion in further investments abroad next year,” said TP General Manager Besim Şişman in an exclusive interview with daily Hürriyet.
He noted the company has used around $1.5-2 billion in loans to finance these investments so far amid the oil plunge.
“Our main focus will be to finance our ongoing investments in the Shahdeniz Field and in Iraq. We are pretty sure that we’ll earn much more than our loans after 2018 or 2019,” Şişman said.
TP, formerly known as TPAO, produces 105,000 barrels per day (bpd) and plans to boost this volume, he added.
Şişman also underlined the negative effects of the oil plunge on all energy companies across the world.
“Even the world’s largest energy services company needed to fire around 20,000 people amid the oil slump.
We are a state-run company so we cannot fire people under Turkey’s conditions. We therefore slashed our domestic investments by 50 percent over this year compared to the previous year and this is quite normal. If we had not made our huge investments abroad, we would have still posted big profits, but this is not the case. We’ll be in a lucrative position in the next three or four years as a global player,” he said.
He noted a separate team was established within the company to analyze the basic characteristics of the world’s leading energy companies.
“We have seen that most of them opened to international markets and made investments abroad when they were still a state-run company. In this vein, we have decided to follow this path and combined all of our foreign projects under one company,” he said.
Şişman said TP should not be only considered an oil and natural gas company, as it makes investments in fairly diverse fields, as global companies do.
“For instance, we have worked on gas hydrate projects in the Black Sea, which is a brand new energy area… We’ll collect samples from the sea floor soon with academics from İzmir’s 9 Eylül University,” he said.