Turkish gas company formed

November 20, 2000, 10:00 CET

A shareholder deal signed by Statoil and Turkey's KOC Holding has laid the basis for a new jointly-owned Turkish gas company.

Plans call for this venture to become operative as soon as the country's gas market has been liberalised.

After signing a letter of intent in late June, the two partners have sought to identify and develop possible projects of mutual interest.

"We've now taken a step into the Turkish market," says project director Per Lindberg in European Gas.

"This will be an important factor in achieving profitable sales for our Shah Deniz gas reserves in Azerbaijan's sector of the Caspian."

The deal confirms that cooperation with the KOC group of industrial companies will be extended, he says.

"Both sides can now contribute actively to speeding up deregulation of the Turkish market and to positioning the new company as an important downstream player there."

He adds that European Gas will soon be opening an office in Istanbul to follow up the obligations and opportunities which follow from the deal.

With more than 30,000 employees and operations in a number of countries, KOC spans vehicles, retailing, consumer durables and financial services.

The group also controls Aygas, which holds 40 per cent of the Turkish market for liquefied petroleum gases (LPG).

One of Turkey's largest industrial combines, KOC appears in the top 500 listing of international companies produced by America's Fortune magazine.