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Sunday, September 23, 2018

Witness the flow of oil from East to West

The delegates at INTERTANKO’s Istanbul Tanker Event in April, held on the occasion of the 38th INTERTANKO Annual Meeting, will be able to enjoy the view of one of the most historic and busiest sea lanes in the world. The Bosphorus connects the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara, and the Dardanelles links the Sea of Marmara with the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas. The 17-mile long Turkish waterway supplies western and southern Europe with oil from the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea region. In 2006, the International Energy Agency (IEA) estimated that 2.2 mbd of mostly crude oil flowed southbound through this passageway.




 In 2007, some 1,200 tankers, totalling 135 m dwt, of panamax size and larger, along with a large number of smaller tankers, passed through the Turkish Straits carrying the total oil exports from the area.


Only half a mile wide at its narrowest point, the Turkish Straits are challenging waterways to navigate due to their sinuous geography. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), a total of 50,000 vessels pass through this export route, including 5,500 oil tankers carrying the oil produced in the Caspian Sea region through the Black Sea en route to the Mediterranean Sea and world markets.


Turkey has developed into one of the most important oil hubs in the world with the Turkish Mediterranean port of Ceyhan now one of the world's busiest oil ports. In addition to being the port for the important strategic oil pipeline from Iraq - which at the moment is closed – it is also the terminal port for the spectacular Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline.


In 2007 the BTC pipeline transported 0.55 mbd (Dec-08, 0.68 mbd), and at full capacity will transport some one million barrels per day. The construction of the USD 3.2bn (GBP 1.74bn) pipeline, the largest private construction project in the world, was part of a USD 20bn series of energy developments to produce and transport oil and gas from the landlocked Caspian. The British oil giant BP is the leading company in the consortium, which also includes the U.S. firms Unocal and ConocoPhillips. Turkey says the pipeline could be the "Silk Road of the 21st century", and BP describes the Caspian as one of its major new profit centres.


Turkey has also a major shipbuilding industry for the construction of small product/chemical tankers. Some 30 Turkish yards have on order some 160 product/chemical tankers totalling 1.6 m dwt ranging from 1,800 dwt to 25,000 dwt. Tuzla is by far the biggest shipbuilding centre with some 15 yards building tankers and they have together some 60% of the orderbook. Kocali is another shipbuilding centre with 19% of the orderbook.


Turkey has a tanker fleet of some 2.8 m dwt owned by some 30 owners, most of which most are small companies.


Contact: Erik Ranheim