Turkish oil importer TÜPRAŞ, which has imported some 100,000 tons of crude oil from Iran according to the provisional data for April, will cut its oil imports from the country completely. It is said that its new crude oil route may be from countries such as Iraq, Russia and partly Saudi Arabia.
The state-owned company Petroleum Pipeline Corporation (BOTAŞ) will continue to purchase natural gas from Iran based on its years-long "buy or pay" sanctioned contract.
Turkey imports some 2 million tons of crude oil from various countries on a monthly basis. For instance, crude oil imports increased 78.30 percent to hit 2.3 million tons in February 2019, compared to the same month last year, according to a report released by the country's energy watchdog Friday.
Turkey's overall imports of oil products increased 22.6 percent in February to 3.4 million tons compared to February 2018, Turkey's Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EMRA) said.
Before U.S. sanctions, the most important source country was Iran. TÜPRAŞ preferred the Iranian oil for two reasons: The price of the Iranian oil is relatively cheaper than that of other supplier countries and the Iranian oil is more suited to the technical characteristics of the TÜPRAŞ refinery. After refining, more ideal product is obtained.
Within this framework, Turkey was meeting more than half of its monthly crude oil requirements from Iran in some months. However, after U.S. sanctions, imports started to decline. The sanctions that the U.S. announced to start in November, but that it delayed until May, rocked Turkey's imports. As such, imports completely stopped in November.
Iran exported 349,837 tons of oil to Turkey in February this year. Last year in the same month, Iran was the top supplier of Turkey's oil imports with 643,294 tons of oil. Therefore, imports from Iran recorded a dramatic 54 percent fall in February, compared to the same month of last year. Turkey's crude imports from Iran stood at some 100,000 tons in April according to the provisional data.
Iraq ranked first among Turkey's oil suppliers by exporting 528,983 tons of oil in February. Russia was the top second source of Turkish oil imports with 459,524 tons and was followed by Kazakhstan that sold 366,311 tons of oil to Turkey.