Turkey and the United States signed a deal to improve wind energy cooperation yesterday held as part of the "Atlantic Council's 2014 Energy and Economy Summit" held at the Grand Tarabya Hotel in Istanbul. Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yıldız and U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz signed the deal. Speaking at the signing of the memorandum of understanding, Yıldız noted that American companies would be more involved in Turkey's wind energy sector as a result of the deal. "This is for establishing a wind energy plant with capacity to produce 3,000 megawatts of power in exchange for producing equipment in Turkey. We want American companies to be active in Turkey, to cooperate with local companies," said Yıldız, further adding that during the 12-year tenure of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party), the country's wind power capacity has increased from 19 megawatts to 3,600 megawatts. Yıldız also announced plans for a $500 million investment in wind turbines to further increase energy production from wind and underscored the importance of realizing such projects with local resources.
Speaking at the ceremony, Moniz said that both countries are determined to achieve targets for clean energy. "We highly value wind energy in the U.S. It also helps lower costs," said Moniz.
Iraqi petrol deals
In response to a reporter's question about Iraq that was asked at the press conference held following the signing ceremony, Moniz said the country was a major oil producer with immense potential but the exploitation of its resources should be conducted in accordance with the Iraqi constitution. Moniz said the development of Iraqi oil resources would enrich the entire region and Turkey would and should play a huge part in this.
Yıldız agreed with Moniz on abiding by the Iraqi constitution while investing in the exploitation of Iraqi oil resources. "The Kirkuk-Yumurtalık Pipeline is the only way Iraqi oil can flow through Turkey. It has a capacity of 1.5 million barrels. It is not working at full capacity. The minimum amount we need is 1 million barrels. The most important issue here is for Iraqi oil to reach the global market," Yıldız emphasized.
Yıldız also said that the deal between the Baghdad government and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) based in Irbil was crucial for the just distribution of the oil proceeds and the future of the country.
"We will also include the contribution of petrol fields in Kirkuk to Iraq in our agenda. It is not possible to transfer the oil through any other pipeline but the Kirkuk-Yumurtalık Pipeline," Yıldız said.
Yıldız further said that Turkey had established a system with Bagdad and Irbil that abides by their internal laws and underscored the fact that Iraqi petrol to be offered to international markets is very advantageous at a time when prices are being widely discussed.
He said KRG oil sold to global markets for $1.7 billion belonged to Iraq as a whole, with 83 percent going to Baghdad and the rest to the KRG as per the Iraqi constitution. "Turkey does not follow any other rule," Yıldız said.
Russia's natural gas reduction
Concerning the claims that Russia has reduced the quantity of natural gas that it sells to Turkey, Yıldız said that they will discuss the matter during next week's visit to Moscow, adding, "The daily amount of 42 million cubic meters of natural gas has dropped to around 27-28 million cubic meters, which is not a good thing as we have a considerable amount of consumption and increasing demand for natural gas. This is not sustainable; it is absolutely necessary to live up to the value of the actual contract. We do not want to be in the same situation that EU countries face due to the Ukraine crisis. It indirectly influences Turkey and we do not want to be part of this problem. Turkey is a country that pays its bill for natural gas on time. This question must necessarily be solved with certainty by the end of this month; we will aim for this at next week's meeting."