Turkey's crude oil imports from Iran decreased by approximately 71 percent in June before U.S. sanctions targeting the Iranian energy sector take effect on Nov. 4.
While Turkey imported 930,978 tons of crude oil from Iran in May, the figure fell to 287,842 tons in June, according to the monthly petroleum industry report from the Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EMRA). A significant part of the difference was compensated by crude imports from Russia, which totaled 378,000 tons. In March, April and May, Turkey did not import crude oil from Russia.
In addition to Russia, Turkey's crude imports from Iraq increased to a significant extent. While Turkey imported 352, 778 tons of crude from Iraq in May, the figure rose to 646,262 tons in June.
Last year, Turkey imported 25.8 million tons of crude oil, and Iran ranked first among Turkey's oil suppliers with 11.5 million tons. Turkey's neighbor also provides 20 percent of the natural gas Petroleum Pipeline Corporation (BOTAŞ) purchases from abroad.
Turkey imports 10 billion cubic meters of gas from Iran, and if this supply is cut because of the sanctions, it may lead to significant problems in winter. According to sources, natural gas contracts stipulate that the price for the gas must be paid even if Turkey stops imports from Iran. Thus, natural gas imports are likely to continue, the sources claim.
U.S. President Trump signed an executive order on May 8 to re-impose sanctions on Iran and abandoned the nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), that came into force in 2015 through joint efforts by the U.S., the U.K., France, China, Russia, Germany and the European Union.
The first round of U.S. sanctions targeting the automotive sector and financial transactions were reinstated on Aug. 6, and the second round that will hit Iran's oil and natural gas trade starts on Nov. 4.