Turkish Energy Minister Alparslan Bayraktar said on Tuesday that his country would continue to buy Russian oil, Reuters reported.
Turkey relies on Russia for 45 percent of its natural gas demand, 17 percent of its oil and 40 percent of its gasoline, Bayraktar said on the sidelines of the CERAWeek energy conference.
“The world needs more oil,” he said. “It needs to come from somewhere, from the US, from Venezuela, from Iran, Saudi Arabia, or wherever we need it to be.”
Turkey previously imported about 200,000 bpd of Iranian crude before Washington decided in 2018 it would pull out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and reinstate sanctions.
“All of a sudden, we went down to zero,” Bayraktar said. “And now we can’t have another supply disruption, this time in Russia.”
Bayraktar said Turkey could not easily replace its Russian oil supply from elsewhere, adding, “They have been old, reliable suppliers.”
“I hope this Iran issue will be sorted out soon,” he said, adding that it would make coping with the oil supply much easier for Turkey.