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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
07ANKARA187 2007-01-30 11:46:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Ankara
Cable title:  

TURKEY REVITALIZES ITS PETROLEUM CODE

Tags:   ENRG EPET BEXP TU IZ 
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VZCZCXRO2350
RR RUEHAG RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHIK RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHROV RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHAK #0187/01 0301146
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 301146Z JAN 07
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0757
INFO RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC
RUEHGB/AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD 0875
RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
RUEHIT/AMCONSUL ISTANBUL 2010
RUEHDA/AMCONSUL ADANA 1592
					  UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ANKARA 000187 

SIPDIS

USDOE FOR CHARLES WASHINGTON
USDOC FOR 4212/ITA/MAC/CPD/CRUSNAK

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ENRG EPET BEXP TU IZ
SUBJECT: TURKEY REVITALIZES ITS PETROLEUM CODE

REF: A: ANKARA 41
B: 06 ANKARA 2877

ANKARA 00000187 001.2 OF 002


Sensitive But Unclassified. Please handle accordingly.



1. (SBU) SUMMARY: In a long-awaited good news story for its
investment environment, Turkey finally passed a new petroleum code,
intended to provide more attractive incentives to encourage foreign
investment in oil and gas exploration and production. The U.S.
company Toreador, which will start production in March at a small
natural gas field on the Black Sea, described the new law as
providing appropriate incentives to attract foreign companies given
that Turkey does not enjoy a hydrocarbon-rich geology. Toreador
gave the U.S. Embassy credit for the success; the Ambassador's
letter to the Prime Minister urging passage came at a critical point
to finally push the law onto the parliament's agenda. The company
was happy with the new law, even though the Finance Ministry
whittled away some elements from earlier drafts. Meanwhile, Turkish
and Turkey-based U.S. companies continue to explore oil and gas
opportunities in northern Iraq. End Summary.



--------------------------


Long-Awaited New Petroleum Law Passes


--------------------------





2. (SBU) While the electricity sector faces woes from looming
supply shortages to delays in privatization and inability to
liberalize prices (refs), the petroleum sector with little fanfare
achieved an important "open for business" step forward. American
Toreador's country manager Roy Barker thanked the Embassy for its
role in finally gaining passage of the new petroleum law, which had
been pending for four years. Barker summarized the new law as up to
international standards, appropriate for a "difficult" place; i.e.,
not Norway. He cited these positive elements:

-Steep reduction in royalty payments, particularly for offshore
licenses, with various steps depending on level of production;

-Clarification and ease of licensing, particularly for offshore
development;

-Ease of import of oil field equipment;

-Longer license terms;

-More advantageous repatriation of registered capital (an issue of
particular importance to Toreador).



3. (SBU) Barker observed that the Finance Ministry hacked some
other important provisions at the last minute, such as reducing the
loss carry-forward period, but he expressed satisfaction with the
final product. The Toreador rep noted that Turkish state oil
company TPAO maintained its privileged position, but foreign
companies would enjoy greater rights and protections.



--------------------------


American Domestic Natural Gas Good News


--------------------------




4. (SBU) Barker stated that Toreador's new shallow Black Sea
natural gas field at Akcakoca would begin production in March. He
expected Prime Minister Erdogan to attend the opening ceremony and
hoped for Embassy representation. Barker noted that this was an
American investment good news story. Although production would be a
modest 2-4 million cm per day, it was welcome given Turkey's
overwhelming dependence on imported natural gas. It could cushion a
small part of domestic supply or contribute in a modest way to
export to Greece. Barker stated that the Akcakoca project totaled
$330 million in investment, with partners TPAO and American Stratic.
He noted that Toreador was continuing to drill promising
exploratory wells at additional locations. While enthusiastic about
their success, Barker admitted that Toreador would likely continue
its lawsuits on contention over repatriation of profits and a
disputed adjacent license with TPAO.



--------------------------


Chevron Perseveres in the Southeast


--------------------------





5. (SBU) Chevron Country Manager John Connor also expressed
satisfaction at passage of the long awaited new petroleum law. He
stated that the Energy Minister was very eager for companies to

ANKARA 00000187 002.2 OF 002


announce discoveries in the runup to the election. Chevron has
experienced great difficulty in gaining access to its Silopi license
in the Cudi Mountains in the southeast near Iraq. After finally
gaining approval to commence seismic work last spring, after a few
months work, the company suffered the death of a local employee from
a PKK-related IED. The company ceased operations there, but still
completed its work requirement under its license when partner
Perenco drilled a small dry well on the safer side of Silopi. Given
the Ministry's eagerness to facilitate exploration and to not admit
defeat from the PKK threat, local partner TPAO will recommence
seismic work in the mountains next spring. Having acquired Unocal's
interests, Chevron is now a partner in BTC and was a passive partner
in the BP-operated deep-water exploration in the eastern Black Sea,
which unfortunately did not achieve successful results.



6. (SBU) Other small American companies are active in exploration
in Turkey, including Aladin and Terralliance. Terralliance has just
opened an office in Ankara to support its operations.



--------------------------


GAZING AT IRAQ


--------------------------





7. (SBU) Even as the new law encourages more domestic oil and gas
exploration (many Turks dream that Turkey floats on an unfound sea
of oil), Turkish, American, and other companies are casting a
longing eye at developments across the border in Iraq, where
progress is reported on its new Hydrocarbon Law. Along with
Norwegian DNO, Turkish companies Genel Enerji and Petoil (which has
farmed out interests to American partners Prime and Calibre) have
signed licenses with the KRG and have announced discoveries. In a
recent meeting with the Embassy, Petoil said that the two Turkish
companies had tacit GOT approval to establish a foothold in northern
Iraq, whereas state companies do not yet have a green light from the
GOT. Egress for potential oil production in northern Iraq is still
unclear. The logical option of unused capacity in the Kirkuk-Ceyhan
pipeline will likely have to await approval by both Baghdad and
Ankara. Larger companies like Chevron are awaiting clarity that
will presumably come with passage of the new hydrocarbon law.
Chevron is interested in the geology across the border from its
Silopi license.
WILSON