Balanced oil market 'important for Saudi'
Istanbul, January 28, 2012
Having a balanced oil market is important for Saudi Arabia, the world's largest producer and exporter, the kingdom's Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal said on Saturday, amid mounting uncertainty over Iranian oil supplies due to sanctions.
Responding to a question whether Gulf oil exporters would replace supplies to Turkey, should Ankara halt imports from Iran, the Saudi minister said: 'What Saudi Arabia wants to see is a balanced market in oil. That is important for the Kingdom.'
Speaking at a meeting of foreign ministers from Turkey and the six members of the GCC, he said Gulf countries in general held a common view on this issue.
Turkey imports over 200,000 barrels per day, around 30 per cent of its consumption, from Iran.
Tupras, a unit of Turkey's largest conglomerate Koc Holdings and the country's sole refiner, is seeking to buy more oil from Saudi Arabia, according to industry sources familiar with the company's strategy.
The annual strategic dialogue meeting between Turkey and the GCC touched on escalating tensions between the international community and Iran over its nuclear programme, and the 10-month-old revolt in Syria, as well the regional view of a brewing global economic crisis.
Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu noted that trade between Turkey and the GCC countries had risen 36 per cent from $9 billion in 2010 to $10.8 billion in the first 11 months of last year.
He said investment into Turkey from the Gulf countries since 2002 amounted to $30 billion.-Reuters