Turkey looks to Libya for oil

June 13, 2012 at 7:23 AM

ANKARA, Turkey, June 13 (UPI) -- The Turkish government announced it landed an oil supply deal with Libya after opting to cut back on crude oil deliveries from Iran.

Turkey was among the seven countries named by the U.S. State Department as getting relief from sanctions targeting Iran's energy sector after "significantly" reducing the amount of oil it gets from Iran.

Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said Ankara reached an oil supply deal with Libya for around 7 million barrels. An oil deal between Turkey and Saudi Arabia may be close behind, reports Turkish new service Hurriyet.

Libyan oil production is close to levels attained before last year's war. One of Africa's top oil producers, civil war shut down most of the country's oil sector last year.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that the move away from Iranian crude oil sent a "decisive message" to Iranian leaders that the international community was serious about deterring Tehran's nuclear ambitions.

Washington accuses Iran of pursuing the technology needed to produce a nuclear weapon, an allegation the Iranian government denies.

Yildiz said in February that Western sanctions don't apply to Turkey.

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