Turkey may increase its crude oil imports from Libya to above 1 million tons a year to make up for lower imports from Iran, which is under U.S. sanctions, Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said on Saturday.
“We can meet the oil demand (via) Libya now that supply from Iran is decreasing. The amount of oil we buy from there may increase above 1 million tons,” Yildiz told reporters during a trip to Algiers.
Turkey also said it will hold talks with Qatar about building a third liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal with a capacity of 5-6 billion cubic meters in Turkey's Gulf of Saros, the energy minister said
"We think it would be appropriate to build an LNG terminal on the Gulf of Saros to meet the needs of Turkey and the region. Qatar would carry out the feasibility work and evaluate the project," Yildiz added.
Turkey, a major buyer of oil and gas from Iran, will no longer give a breakdown of where its energy imports come from, an official at the country’s statistics office said Friday.
The move, as the West tightens sanctions on Tehran over its contested nuclear program, follows a request from Turkey’s refining monopoly TUPRAS which already bars the Turkish Statistics Institute (TUIK) from detailing its oil imports.
“TUPRAS asked us last month not to reveal the origin of our crude oil imports and instead give an overall figure,” a TUIK official told AFP, requesting anonymity.
“We were not informed of the reason for the change in policy,” he said.
TUPRAS declined to comment on the issue.
Fearing that Tehran aims to acquire nuclear weapons, the United States has led Western powers to impose ever tougher sanctions against Iran which rejects the charge outright, insisting its program is for peaceful purposes only.
Under a law approved last year, Washington threatened to penalize foreign financial institutions over transactions with Iran’s central bank, which handles sales of the country’s key oil and gas export.