|03ANKARA2165||2003-04-03 08:52:00||CONFIDENTIAL||Embassy Ankara|
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
C O N F I D E N T I A L ANKARA 002165
1. (U) The Ministry of Energy has officially dismissed Gokhan
Bildaci from his position as Chairman and General Manager of
BOTAS, the state pipeline company. This move has been
expected since the AK government took over in November 2002.
Bildaci told econoff he learned about his dismissal when he
saw it published in the Official Gazette today, April 3. He
is expected to depart from his office today. No successor
has been named.
2. (C) BP,s local BTC Co Managing Director Yashar Latifov
(strictly protect) told econoff that the timing of Bildaci,s
departure was bad, given that the project is moving into the
construction phase and that operational problems have not yet
been resolved (reftels). However, he said, BP has long
expected Bildaci,s removal, and therefore has done some
contingency planning. One option, Latifov said, was for
Bildaci to replace BOTAS,s BTC subsidiary company's current
Managing Director, who BP believes is incompetent. Latifov
indicated that BP was looking at the legal ways in which this
switch might happen. Another BP exec told econoff that, in
effect, BP likely will handle management of BTC construction
during this transition phase.
3. (C) Comment: Neither of the BP execs with whom we spoke
were panicked about this development. Although BP execs
clearly respect and trust Bildaci, and strongly preferred
that he stay on, they have been planning for his removal. In
our view, this is another blip that may have some temporary
impact on BTC construction, but should not significantly
delay the project.