How Turkey to replace Iranian oil?

Anadolu Agency
How Turkey to replace Iranian oil?

Turkey can avail of sources like Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Russia, Iraq and Gulf countries when US sanction waivers end. Turkey has many oil supply options in its locality to compensate for its lack of supplies due to U.S. sanctions on Iran, assistant professor of Istanbul Sehir UniversityVugar Imanbeyli said. Anadolu Agency reports in its article Many options available to plug Turkey's oil supply gap that U.S. sanctions on Iran will influence Turkey, as it is one of the eight countries that the U.S. will no longer apply Iran sanctions waiver to upon their expiration on May 2.

Both Turkey as a major importer that receives 90% of its oil from overseas, and Russia, as one of the biggest oil exporters, will be impacted by the sanctions, Imanbeyli asserted. Russia could step up its exports to fill the gap in the market as Turkey imports around 15% of its oil from Iran. "Russia might take advantage of the situation as the tense environment in the market can increase the oil price or at least keep it at US$70-75 level as now. That is a gain for Russia. Furthermore, Russia is the opponent of Iran in the world oil market, so Russia can increase the supply to China and other countries," he said.

Nonetheless, Turkey will be negatively affected by the sanctions but will seek ways to be exempted in the future, he said. "For Turkey, in the beginning it might be a problem in the supply side and Turkey might lose its price advantage. However, Turkey can obtain oil supplies from many sources unlike gas. Turkey might receive more oil from Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Russia, Iraq and other Gulf countries in order to compensate for its lack," he said. In addition, he estimated that Iran's other exports to Turkey would decrease along with a fall in its oil exports.

According to data from the Energy Market Regulatory Authority, Turkey's crude oil imports increased by 78.3% to 2.3 million tonnes in February 2019 compared to the same month of 2018. During this period, Turkey bought the majority of its crude oil of 529 thousand tonnes from Iraq. Russia followed with 460 thousand tonnes, and Kazakhstan with 366 thousand tonnes while Turkey bought 350 thousand tonnes. Last August, following the sanctions announcement, the Trump administration granted waivers to eight countries including China, India, South Korea, Turkey, Italy, the U.A.E. Japan and Taiwan -- the top importers of Iran's oil. U.S. Secretary of the State Mike Pompeo announced on April 22 that the administration will no longer renew Iran sanctions' waivers. The eight countries that the waivers apply to are Turkey, Japan, South Korea, China, India, Taiwan, Italy and Greece.