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Deepwater Champion enters Black Sea for oil exploration

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News | 3/25/2011 12:00:00 AM |

The Deepwater Champion drill ship, from the Unites States-based oil and gas corporation ExxonMobil, passed through the Bosphorus on Friday to prospect for oil in the Black Sea.

The Deepwater Champion drill ship, from the Unites States-based oil and gas corporation ExxonMobil, passed through the Bosphorus on Friday to prospect for oil in the Black Sea.

Oil exploration works in the Black Sea are being jointly conducted by ExxonMobil and the Turkish Petroleum Corporation, or TPAO.

Turkey should do what is necessary to develop its domestic oil and natural gas resources, said Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yıldız, speaking during a meeting Friday held to welcome the passage of the drill ship. 

Noting that Turkey imports its oil and natural gas need from foreign countries, Yıldız said: “Perhaps we will not be able to find oil in the Black Sea but we continue our studies as we are hopeful. Turkey has allocated nearly $4.6 billion for oil exploration studies.”

Speaking at the meeting, Russ Bellis, exploration director of ExxonMobil, said that they have a safety system that will not damage the Black Sea. “The drill ship will start its exploration in April. We may reach our first findings after the next two months but to have certain information may take months.”

The environmentalist group Greenpeace Mediterranean protested ExxonMobil’s oil exploration during the passage of the drill ship. The activist held banners saying, “Stop Dangerous Energy.”

The 229 meter-Deepwater Champion passed through the Dardanelles on March 12.

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