Turk watchdog mulls approval for refineries

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkey’s energy regulator could approve next week applications by Austria’s OM and Petrol Ofisi and by Indian Oil and Turkey’s Calik to build two oil refineries, watchdog chairman Yusuf Gunay said yesterday. The projects will be Turkey’s first privately built refineries. Until now Turkey’s only refiner has been recently privatized Tupras. «In next week’s board meeting, we could approve Petrol Ofisi and Calik/IOC’s application which represents a total investment of approximately $7 billion,» Gunay told an energy conference. Calik and IOC’s refinery is expected to process 15 million tons of crude oil a year and is seen costing $4.9 billion. OMV and Petrol Ofisi’s refinery project is projected to handle 10 million tons per year, and will cost approximately $2 billion. The refineries, both of which will be located at the port of Ceyhan, where the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline and a pipeline from Iraq both terminate, will operate for export, the two companies have said. Applications for three refineries at Ceyhan are currently under review, said Gunay, as KazMunaiGaz has also submitted an application for a $4.9 billion refinery. The three projects together will have an annual refining capacity of 35 million tons.