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Cablegate: Turkish Petroleum Conference Targets Upstream Investment In

VZCZCXRO1981
RR RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLN
RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHAK #1754 2830924
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 090924Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7627
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHGB/AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD 1341
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS 1722
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHIT/AMCONSUL ISTANBUL 4813
RUEHDA/AMCONSUL ADANA 3276
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

UNCLAS ANKARA 001754

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

EEB FOR SPECIAL ENVOY FOR EURASIAN ENERGY GRAY
EEB FOR ENERGY COORDINATOR MANN
EUR FOR DAS BRYZA

E.O. 12958:N/A
TAGS: ECON ENRG TU IZ IR SY
SUBJECT: TURKISH PETROLEUM CONFERENCE TARGETS UPSTREAM INVESTMENT IN
IRAQ, IRAN AND SYRIA

1. (SBU) Summary. The purpose of Turkish Petroleum's "Northern
Arabian Plate Oil and Gas Summit" (NAPOGS 2008) October 8-10 was to
share information about ongoing or planned upstream development in
Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey. The conference targeted
participation of energy ministers and national oil companies; and
also included international oil companies such as BP, Shell, RWE and
GDF. MFA Energy Department Head Berris Ekinci downplayed the
significance of Arab energy ministers gathering in Turkey and
pointed out that US and EU diplomats were invited but unable to
attend. Turkish Energy Minister Guler, Iraqi Oil Minister
Al-Shahristani and Iranian Deputy Oil Minister Seyyed Reza
Kasaeizadeh were the highest ranking officials in attendance. Syria
was represented at a lower level. End summary.

2. (SBU) According to Turkish Petroleum (TPAO) Acting Department
Head for International Relations Murat Karci, the Northern Arabian
Plate Oil and Gas Summit (NAPOGS 2008) aims to establish an
information sharing platform for the upstream companies operating or
planning investment in Iraq, Syria, and Turkey. The summit has two
components: the conference - to which energy ministers, government
officials, academicians and representatives of the oil and gas
sector will attend; and the exhibition - which will highlight the
equipment and services of companies doing business in the region.

3. (SBU) MFA Energy Department Head Berris Ekinci downplayed the
significance of this gathering of Arab energy ministers and claimed
it was not the first of its kind, although she was unable to name
the first one. She also said the summit included national as well
as international oil companies and foreign diplomats were invited
although unable to attend. EU Commission Economic Counselor in
Ankara Ulrike Hauer confirmed that EU Ambassador Mark Perini had
been invited and opted not to go because the summit seemed like
"just another oil and gas conference in Turkey." EUR Deputy
Assistant Secretary Matt Bryza also said that he was invited but
unable to attend due to scheduling conflicts.

4. (U) The conference agenda focuses on oil and gas source
countries, specifically tax and regulatory regimes and the degree to
which private sector investment is welcomed. There is also an
emphasis on regional cooperation for the sake of increased security
of supply, and on strengthened relations among the neighboring
countries. There is a session on transportation focusing on the role
of the Arab Gas Pipeline for bringing gas to Europe.

5. (U) The conference has separate panels for Iran, Iraq, Syria and
Turkey. In the session on Iran, one of the topics of discussion is
whether Iran can take the lead in a possible "Gas OPEC." Other
topics include the LNG potential and the impact of service
agreements on foreign investments. The session on Iraq focuses on
the hydrocarbon law, the procedures for exploration and production
licenses, and the potential of new reserves. The session on Syria
addresses issues like the impact of PSAs on encouraging exploration
activities in new fields, Syria's increased gas needs and the
possible connection of the Arab Gas Pipeline to the Turkish grid.
The session on Turkey focuses on Turkey's increased gas needs and
possible sources to meet this need, Turkey's role as an energy
bridge between the Middle East and Europe, LNG opportunities in the
region, and the effect of market liberalization on the use of new
energy resources.

6. (SBU) Comment: Having been left off the initial list of
prequalified companies to compete for oil and gas licenses in Iraq,
TPAO's real aim in organizing this conference may be to gain the
confidence of the Iraqi Oil Minister by showcasing Turkey's upstream
capabilities to him directly.

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