World Bulletin / News Desk
The NATO oil pipeline in Turkey, which has so far been used solely for NATO purposes, will opened for civilian use, according to a source in the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources who prefers to remain unnamed.
The goal of expanding the use of the pipeline is to deal a harsh blow against oil smuggling. The legal procedures and amendments to regulations concerning limits on the pipeline's use are expected to be completed soon.
The pipeline is roughly 3,000 kilometers long. The ministry source told Today's Zaman that at present only 20 percent of its capacity has been utilized. The pipeline passes through several provinces in Turkey's central, eastern and western regions, as well as provinces in Marmara. Additional use of the pipeline will considerably decrease the need for oil tanker trucks to use roads to transport oil and it is also expected to cause some TL 100 million in lost in revenue for oil smugglers, according to the source.
Taner Mutlu, head of the Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EPDK)'s oil department, brought attention to the issue during an event last week, saying the institution is looking to open the NATO pipeline for civilian use.