Turkey’s economy is in recession but that hasn’t stopped crude imports rising to a record 665,000 b/d for July. At an average of 584,000 b/d for the first seven months of 2019 volumes are up a whopping 47% (188,000 b/d) year-on-year. This is thanks largely to the 200,000 b/d Star refinery in Izmir operated by Azerbaijan state-owned firm Socar which started up last November before ramping up to full capacity early this year.

Socar Turkey chief Zaur Gahramanov said in early June...