Better profit margins, according to Turkish refiners, are the reason.
Turkey's oil imports from Russia have increased to over 200,000 barrels per day (BPD) as of August, up from 98,000 bpd in the same period last year, according to Reuters, citing Refinitiv Eikon data.
According to the report, Turkey's Tupras and STAR refineries increased their purchases of Russian oil, both Urals and Siberian Light grades, while decreasing purchases of North Sea, Iraqi, and West African grades.
According to Refinitiv data, the STAR refinery purchased approximately 90,000 BPD of oil from Russia from January to August 2022, compared to 48,000 BPD during the same period last year.
According to the data, Tupras purchased around 111,000 BPD of Russian oil on average, up from 45,000 bpd in the same period last year.
"The choice for Turkey's refiners was obvious because they have no restrictions on Russian oil purchases," a Mediterranean oil trader told Reuters. He also stated that good Urals oil refining margins aided Turkish refiner profits.
Moscow and Ankara agreed to expand economic cooperation in trade, transportation, agriculture, finance, tourism, and construction this month. The two countries intend to increase bilateral trade to $100 billion by 2030 and collaborate on energy projects. They've also agreed that Turkey will pay for some of its Russian gas imports in rubles.