(MENAFN - Arab News) Turkey has begun talks with Saudi Arabia on long-term crude oil purchases, Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said yesterday.
Yildiz said the talks were in line with Turkey's main energy target to increase the number of countries from which Turkey imports crude oil.
"Talks with Saudi Arabia on long-term crude oil purchases have started. This doesn't concern only Tupras but also concerns Saudi Aramco. Talks are still going on; they will discuss the quantities between them," Yildiz said.
Turkey's exemption from US sanctions because it cut purchases of Iranian oil is limited to 180 days, starting from June 11, a US diplomat said yesterday.
He said Turkey's Halkbank would be able to make Tupras' payments for crude oil to the Iranian Central Bank during this 180 day period.
Meanwhile, oil prices diverged yesterday after New York crude struck an eight-month low with euphoria fading over a bailout deal for Spanish banks, while OPEC maintained its demand forecast.
Expectations that the OPEC would raise its production quota at a meeting in Vienna this week also affected prices, analysts said.