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Israel Takes Steps to Lessen Turkey’s Ability to Interfere with Oil Supply

Israel’s relations with Turkey have deteriorated since 31 May 2010 when Israeli Naval Special Forces commandos killed nine activists, including eight Turkish citizens and U.S. national Furkan Dogan during a raid in international waters on the Mavi Marmara, the largest ship in the "Gaza Freedom Flotilla," which was attempting to deliver humanitarian supplies to the Gaza Strip.

Most of the crude oil currently used in Israel and refined at Israel’s Oil Refineries Ltd. in Haifa and Paz Oil Company Ltd.’s Ashdod Refinery comes from former Soviet states, primarily Azerbaijan and is transported via the $3.1 billion, 1,092 mile-long Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline from Azerbaijans Caspian offshore fields to the Turkish Mediterranean port of Ceyhan. Other Israeli oil imports are provided by from tankers from the Black Sea transiting the Turkish Straits to the Mediterranean, Israel’s Globes business newspaper reported.
 
In the 1990s Israel began the construction of a strategic oil reserve to provide a cache of fuel in the event of Israeli oil imports being interrupted by war or embargo. The location of the reserve is classified, but it is reportedly located in southern Israel deep underground and reputedly hardened from conventional, nonconventional and nuclear attack. The existence of the reserve facility is buoying hopes of the administration of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that it will be able to surmount the current downturn in Israeli-Turkish relations.

By. Joao Peixe, Deputy Editor OilPrice.com


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