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Crude loadings at Turkey's Ceyhan terminal suspended after earthquake cuts power


Ceyhan has been exporting around 1 million b/d

Botas says no damage detected on its oil pipelines

Iraqi crude export flows via Turkey suspended

  • Author
  • Robert Perkins    Dania Saadi    Nick Coleman    David O'Byrne
  • Editor
  • Alisdair Bowles
  • Commodity
  • Oil Shipping

Turkey's Ceyhan oil terminal has been shut after a loss of power and tank damage after a major earthquake rocked central southern Turkey and northern Syria on Feb. 6, local shipping agents and official sources said.

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The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC), Iraq-Turkey and Batman-Dortyol oil pipelines all pass through the zone hit by the quake, and seaborne exports from Azerbaijan and Iraq via Ceyhan had been around 1 million b/d, according to tanker tracking data.

There has been significant damage to the Iskenderun region near Ceyhan in the Mediterranean, an official at shipping agent Wilhelmsen's local office told S&P Global Commodity Insights. He could not say if there had been any damage to the Ceyhan oil terminal facilities.

Pumping to the Ceyhan terminal has also been suspended as a precaution, the official said.

The magnitude 7.8 quake struck southern Turkey and northwest Syria, killing more than 600 people and injuring hundreds as buildings collapsed across the region.

"I think the disruption at the terminal will last at least a week," the official said.

Turkish state pipeline operator Botas, which operates the terminal, earlier said no damage had been detected on its oil pipelines. It did not immediately respond to requests for comment on operations at Ceyhan.

Separately, an Iraqi oil ministry official who spoke on condition of anonymity confirmed that all operations have stopped at the Ceyhan terminal, adding that there have been reports of leaks and damage to tanks.

BP, which operates the BTC pipeline transporting Azeri crude to Ceyhan, confirmed the suspension of tanker loadings at Ceyhan but said it "continues its export operations" via the BTC line.

BP said a small leak from a crude storage tank at Ceyhan caused by the quake has now been stopped.

Crude flows

Crude flows through the BTC pipeline from Azerbaijan to Ceyhan averaged 617,658 b/d in 2022, up 12.6% from 2021 but down 4.2% from 2019, the last year before flows were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

During 2022, Iraqi flows via the Iraq-Turkey pipeline to Ceyhan averaged 477,043 b/d, down 6.8% from 2021 and down 10.3% from 2019.

The Iraqi flows also include exports from the semi-autonomous Kurdish region.

In January, Iraq exported 80,000 b/d of Kirkuk crude to Turkey, up from 72,000 b/d in December, according to data from state oil marketer SOMO seen by S&P Global.

Oil exports from Kurdistan will "resume after careful inspection of the pipelines finalized," a spokesperson for the Kurdistan Regional Government, said on Twitter on Feb. 6.

Kurdistan exported 376,000 b/d in January, down from 417,000 b/d in December, SOMO data showed.

Total crude exports from Ceyhan averaged 1.02 million b.d in January, according to S&P Global Commodities at Sea, of which 651,000 b/d come via the BTC line and the remainder from Iraq.