Turkey worries over safety of carrying crude oil through its straits

Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Hilmi Guler said in Ankara Tuesday that carrying oil through the Turkish Straits has reached to a very critical and dangerous level regarding environmental, social, physical and economic reasons.

Guler made the comments in a message sent to the 4th Turkey- Caspian-Black Sea Oil-Natural Gas Conference hosted by his ministry in Ankara, semi-official Anatolia News Agency reported.

"Amount of crude oil carried through the Turkish Straits increases gradually each year. This situation poses a serious environmental threat to Turkey," Guler was quoted as saying in the message.

He noted that 150 million tones of crude oil were transported through the Turkish Straits in 2005, adding that this amount is expected to reach 190-200 million tones in 2009.

"This natural waterway, which has vital importance for the Black Sea countries, can no more be used as a pipeline. A big accident may cause substantial environmental damage and sea transport may halt for a long time," Guler warned.

Meanwhile, Guler stressed that Turkey developed very important energy projects on its way to become a bridge between the Caspian region, Central Asia, the Middle East and consumer markets, most of whom are in Europe.

Turkey is a country located at an important point linking Asia, the Caspian regions, the Middle East and Europe.

The Turkish Straits comprise the Strait of Canakkale, the Strait of Istanbul and the Sea of Marmara, connecting the Black Sea, the Sea of Marmara and the Aegean.

It is one of the most crowded, difficult and potentially dangerous waterways in the world for marines.

Source: Xinhua

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