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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
08ANKARA1994 2008-11-17 17:14:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Ankara
Cable title:  

TURKEY: MINISTER GULER IN TEHRAN TO TRY TO CLOSE

Tags:   ENRG EPET IR TU 
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VZCZCXRO2954
RR RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHAK #1994 3221714
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 171714Z NOV 08
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8037
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHIT/AMCONSUL ISTANBUL 5029
RUEUITH/ODC ANKARA TU
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L ANKARA 001994 

SIPDIS

EEB FOR A/S SULLIVAN
SPECIAL ENVOY FOR EURASIAN ENERGY GRAY
EEB FOR ENERGY COORDINATOR MANN
EUR FOR DAS BRYZA

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/17/2018
TAGS: ENRG EPET IR TU
SUBJECT: TURKEY: MINISTER GULER IN TEHRAN TO TRY TO CLOSE
GAS DEAL.

REF: ANKARA 1761

Classified By: Economic Counselor Dale Eppler for reasons 1.4 (B) and (
D)



1. (C) On November 15, a delegation led by Turkish Energy
Minister Guler went to Tehran to try to conclude negotiations
begun in July 2007 to develop natural gas in Iran's large
South Pars field and to construct a dedicated pipeline to
bring Iranian gas to Turkey (reftel). The delegation also
includes BOTAS (state pipeline company) Chairman Saltuk
Duzyol, TPAO (state oil company) Chairman Mehmet Uysal and
AKP Parliamentarian Taner Yildiz, Prime Minister Erdogan,s
informal advisor on energy.



2. (C) According to Faruk Demir, an informal advisor to
Guler, the team will stay in Iran through November 19 and
will likely sign a new agreement, but gave few details. He
said a sticking point continues to be Iran's "buy back model"
for gas development, in which Turkey would be obliged to sell
gas developed in the South Pars field to the GOI at a (very
low) price set by the GOI but would be required to pay Iran
"international market prices" for gas exported to Turkey or
markets beyond. Effectively, such a deal would be a money
loser for Turkey. Demir said TPAO, which has been conducting
the negotiations with Iran, opposes the buyback model and
advised the Minister not to travel to Iran yet. However,
Guler advisor Musa Gunaydin urged Guler to go to Tehran and
conclude an agreement. (Note: Gunaydin is reportedly close
to an unnamed business with close ties to the PM that has
financial interests in an Iran gas deal. End note.)



3. (C) We also spoke with MFA Energy Department Head Berris
Ekinci about her expectations for Guler's Iran trip. Ekinci
stressed the difficulty of raising financing in today's
global climate. She estimated the cost of the deal to be as
much as USD 7 billion and speculated that nothing could move
forward without financing despite any agreements Guler may
reach. Demir also said TPAO would not have the funds
available to invest in Iran because its share in Azerbaijan's
Shah Deniz Phase II development would run about USD 2
billion.



4. (C) Comment: We know very few details about the ongoing
negotiations in Iran and will continue to seek more
information. Minister Guler has said for months that he
would go to Tehran only when an agreement was ready, so his
personal involvement in the 4-day negotiations indicates
closing a deal with Iran is a priority for him. Guler may
believe an agreement with Iran will give him a much-needed
domestic success story and increases his negotiating leverage
with other gas suppliers like Russia and Azerbaijan. He is
under considerable political pressure at home. He has long
been rumored to be on his way out to be replaced by Taner
Yildiz, the parliamentarian who is on the trip with him.
This year, the Ministry has allowed large and unpopular
utility rate increases (electricity up by more than 60% and
natural gas by more than 70%). An opposition political party
recently filed a censure motion against Guler, claiming
incompetence for the utility price increases while world
prices for oil and gas are falling.

Visit Ankara's Classified Web Site at
http://www.intelink.sgov.gov/wiki/Portal:Turk ey

SILLIMAN