Press Releases

IFC Supports Gas Production and Community Development in Turkey and Romania

In Washington
Hannfried von Hindenburg
Phone: + 1 (202) 458-5613

Washington, D.C., March 15, 2007 — IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, has signed a loan agreement to support natural gas development in Turkey and Romania. IFC will also help improve social services in local communities. The $50 million loan to the Turkish and Romanian operations of U.S.-based oil and gas producer Toreador Resources Corporation will promote natural gas consumption as a convenient and cleaner fuel.  

The loan is designated to primarily help finance the development of Turkey’s natural gas reserves in the Black Sea’s South Akcakoca Basin. As part of the project design, IFC will assist Toreador in building an integrated environment, health, safety, and social management system that will transform the company’s community development work into a more systematic program.  

“Through IFC’s investment in Toreador, we are forging a long-term partnership with a small but rapidly growing company to develop domestic sources of natural gas in Turkey,” said Somit Varma, Associate Director of IFC’s Oil, Gas, Mining, and Chemicals Department.  “At the same time, we are helping the company achieve and sustain leadership in environmental best practices and social development.  We are pleased to support the growth of a junior oil and gas company, while contributing to private sector investment in emerging markets.”

Shahbaz Mavaddat, IFC’s Director for Southern Europe and Central Asia, added, “Support for private sector investments in developing natural resources is key to IFC's strategy in the Southern Europe and Central Asia region. With our investment, we are supporting the local economy and helping to satisfy Turkey and Romania’s demand for domestically-produced fuel.”

Doug Weir, Chief Financial Officer of Toreador, said, “We are excited about this partnership with IFC, which is integral to our growth in the Turkish and Romanian energy markets. We look forward to developing a long-term relationship with IFC and benefiting from its extensive regional and sector expertise.”

IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, promotes open and competitive markets in developing countries.  IFC supports sustainable private sector companies and other partners in generating productive jobs and delivering basic services, so that people have opportunities to escape poverty and improve their lives. Through FY06, IFC Financial Products has committed more than $56 billion in funding for private sector investments and mobilized an additional $25 billion in syndications for 3,531 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC Advisory Services and donor partners have provided more than $1 billion in program support to build small enterprises, to accelerate private participation in infrastructure, to improve the business enabling environment, to increase access to finance, and to strengthen environmental and social sustainability. For more information, please visit