Russia vs. Turkey: check the numbers!

erdogan vs putin

I have no sympathy for the strong compression of civil liberties ex-PM Erdogan has enacted in Turkey; since the Gezi Park incidents, my heart beats with that of my numerous friends who wanted Erdogan out.

Having said that, the Kremlin’ “smoking gun” thesis of massive oil exports from Syria into Turkey and the ROW is ridiculous: not only because it is supported by evidence (aerial pictures of trucks) that makes Dubya claiming he had proof of Saddam’s WMD a beacon of credibility, but because numbers don’t fuckin’ add up.

Smuggling of Syrian gasoline in Turkey is old news: a liter of gasoline in Syria costs (subsidized) around €0,70, while it is more than €1.40 in Turkey: the whole economy of the sub-region subsists on this (illegal, but long tolerated) trade. So this is what probably those trucks are, and mr. Erdogan must be truly worried that the Russian Air Force are bombing the living daylight out of the PKK’ main source of income.

Now let’s look at the numbers: Syria’s oil production was 560k bbl/day at its peak, now down to < 100bbl/d; smuggled product sells at around 50% of market price, so now around $20/bbl; marginal extraction cost of Syrian oil (imagining it is similar to Iran’s) is around $16/bbl so what does the lucky smuggler make? Maybe $2/bbl?

Syria, however battered by the war, is still a sizable country and needs >250k bbl/d but even assuming Da’esh was able to function WITHOUT Syrian oil and trade it all through this nefarious scheme, we’re talking about – best case – $200k/day.

Some smoking gun !


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