Turkey push ahead with a planned deal to produce and export gas from neighboring Iran
Energy and Natural Resources Minister Hilmi Güler said on Wednesday the country would push ahead with a planned deal to produce and export gas from neighboring Iran, saying cancellation of the deal was "out of the question."
Energy and Natural Resources Minister Hilmi Güler said on Wednesday the country would push ahead with a planned deal to produce and export gas from neighboring Iran, saying Turkey and Iran failed to conclude expected energy accords during a visit by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Turkey in August.
The United States, which is seeking to isolate Tehran over its controversial nuclear program, opposes the plan.
"It is out of the question that the natural gas deal with Iran will be suspended. I will go to Tehran to sign when the text of the deal is ready," Hilmi Güler told reporters. Under the deal, Turkey's state-owned petroleum company TPAO will explore in Iran's South Pars field, and gas will be piped to Turkey for consumption or re-export to European markets.
Güler also said Azerbaijan had agreed to sell extra gas produced in the second phase of its Shah Deniz project to Turkey. The minister said the government plans to finish off the tender process for Turkey's first nuclear power plant this month and also intends to launch a tender for a second nuclear power station in the Black Sea town of Sinop by the end of this year.
A Turkish-Russian group was the sole bidder in a tender to build and operate Turkey's first nuclear power plant. The bidding consortium consisted of Russian firms Atomstroyexport and Inter Rao along with Turkey's Park Teknik Group.
"Russia has two types of nuclear power station technology. The Turkish Atomic Energy Agency (TAEK) will examine all aspects if they offered the modern one," Güler told reporters.
The tender is for the first of three planned nuclear power plants in Turkey, which is heavily dependent on energy imports. The lack of widespread interest appeared to be a blow to Turkey's efforts to develop nuclear energy.
'If you keep raising oil prices, we will use the sun'
On a separate occasion, Güler also criticized the "merciless pricing policies" of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which has kept oil prices high by curtailing production, and said Turkey will accelerate its studies to introduce new alternative energy resources to decrease its dependence on oil-producing countries.
Stressing Turkey's intention to put more emphasis on solar energy, the minister said, "If OPEC doesn't step back from raising high oil prices, we will surely use the sun."
Güler was speaking at the opening session of the Northern Arabian Plate Oil and Gas Summit 2008 (NAPOGS 2008), organized by the Turkish Association of Petroleum Geologists (TPJD). The summit is being held in the southern Anatolian city of Antalya and will last until Oct. 10. He said Turkey aims to be a leading player in the global energy market and that work under way by the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO), the Turkish Pipeline Corporation (Bota?) and the Turkish Petroleum International Company (TPIC) are contributing positively to the realization of this ideal, the minister noted.
Güler also said Turkey is about to initiate "good relations" with Iraq on the oil issue and expressed his wish that this neighboring country achieve stability as soon as possible.