Earthquake Disrupts Oil Exports From Turkey's Ceyhan Terminal

Ceyhan oil terminal
The Ceyhan oil terminal (BP file image)

Published Feb 6, 2023 10:02 PM by The Maritime Executive

After the devastating quake that struck southern Turkey on Monday, the port of Ceyhan has suspended operations at its crude oil terminal as a precautionary measure. 

The magnitude 7.8 quake struck Turkey's southern Kahramanmaras province and parts of neighboring Syria, wrecking thousands of buildings and damaging infrastructure. As of Monday night, the death toll stood at 3,800, and thousands more were injured. Rescue operations are ongoing to save more victims from the rubble of collapsed apartment blocks and houses. Dozens of aftershocks have been recorded, including a major magnitude 7.5 tremor. 

The port of Ceyhan is located less than 100 miles from the epicenter of the quake. Among other facilities, the port is home to the Ceyhan oil terminal, the end point of several export pipelines from Azerbaijan and Iraq. It has seven crude oil storage tanks and two VLCC-sized loading berths, and it usually handles about one million barrels of crude per day. 

According to local agents, the terminal lost power due to the quake, forcing it to shut down. The pipelines that supply it run through the earthquake-affected region, and though no damage has been detected, pumping has been temporarily suspended until inspections are completed.

The humanitarian disaster may take a much longer time to address. "Thousands of homes are likely to have been destroyed, displacing families and exposing them to the elements at a time of year when temperatures regularly drop below freezing and snow and freezing rain are common. Heavy snowstorms have also recently hit parts of Syria and Türkiye, with further sub-zero temperatures forecasted," warned aid group UNICEF in an update Monday.