SOCAR not considers purchase of Total’s gas stations in Turkey

By: Gulgiz Dadashova

Azerbaijan’s state oil company SOCAR is not interested in purchase of gas filling stations of French Total in Turkey, SOCAR president told media on May 1, refusing the media reports.

Saying that he himself heard about this from media, Rovnag Abdullayev said SOCAR has no special interest in this purchase, but this issue can be considered.

Turkey has some of the steepest fuel prices in Europe but heavy taxes and other regulations leave little margin for profit for the 70 different retailers, according to Reuters. Total has just 5 percent of the 80 billion lira ($29.4 billion) fuel distribution market, according to figures from market watchdog EPDK.

Abdullayev went on to add that there is a very low margin in Turkey and Total wouldn’t raise the issue of selling its gas stations if there was a benefit.

“Moreover, we should firstly implement the project for construction of the STAR refinery in Turkey and ensure the fuel wholesale,” Abdullayev said.

Earlier, Turkish media reported that Total intends to withdraw from Turkish market. Founded in 1992, Total Turkey indirectly employs around 10,000 people and operates around 440 petrol stations.

Currently, SOCAR is constructing STAR refinery in Turkey and its products will be sold in this country’s market.

SOCAR is the sole producer of petroleum products in Azerbaijan. It has gas filling stations in Azerbaijan, Georgia, Ukraine, Romania and Switzerland. The State Oil Company exported 1.2 million metric tons of petroleum products from Azerbaijan in 2014, compared to nearly 1.05 million metric tons in 2013.

SOURCE: Azer News