Turkish drilling vessel Fatih to commence gas, oil exploration on 31 October

Finance Minister and former energy minister Berat Albayrak, Tayyip Erdogan’s son-in-law, outlined Ankara’s plans for oil and gas exploration both in the Mediterranean, where Turkey is challenging Cyprus’ sovereignty and drilling rights in its own EEZ, and in the Black Sea.

The Turkish drilling vessel Fatih, named after the conqueror of Constantinople Sultan Fatih Sultan Mehmet, will commence preparations for its first drilling operation in the bloc Alanya, off the coast of Antalya.

Turkish Energy Minister Fatih Donmez, at a launching ceremony yesterday, said the Fatih will begin deep-sea drilling at the Alanya-1 borehole, located 100 kilometres from the coastal district of Antalya, and 60 kilometres off Antalya’s Alanya district.

Donmez said that the Fatih will conduct two drillings annually.

The state-run Anadolu Press Agency reported yesterday that the drilling vessel has reached the area in which it will operate.

Finance Minister and former energy minister Berat Albayrak, Tayyip Erdogan’s son-in-law, outlined Ankara’s plans for oil and gas exploration both in the Mediterranean, where Turkey is challenging Cyprus’ sovereignty and drilling rights in its own EEZ, and in the Black Sea.

Ankara last week warned Athens not to impede its activities in the Meditereranean, and there are heightened concerns of a clash with Cyprus, which is already working with global energy giants such as ExxonMobil and Total and has substantially advanced its hydrocarbon exploration programme. Cyprus is also cooperating with neighbouring Israel, which also has rich deposits, in the energy sector.

«The dream of deep-sea drilling activities has not been accomplished since the 1970s because of the lack of trained staff and technologically adequate local machinery. Today, Turkey enjoys the results of an energy transformation, stimulated by the mobilisation of domestic resources,» Albayrak said..

Albayrak said Ankara plans to soon acquire a second drilling vessel.

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