Turkey to hold first deep drilling for oil and gas in Med in 2018: Minister
Turkey will carry out its first hydrocarbon drilling in the Mediterranean later this year and its first deep drilling in 2018, Energy Minister Berat Albayrak stated on Oct. 11.
Albayrak said Turkey aimed to open wells in Turkish and Cypriot waters, and drilling would also take place in the Black Sea, Reuters reported.
“We will make our first hydrocarbon drilling in the Mediterranean Sea before the end of this year. We plan to hold our first deep drilling in 2018,” he said during a speech at an energy summit in the Mediterranean resort of Antalya.
“We are very hopeful for our exploration works in the area. We will start to open wells in Turkish and Cypriot waters,” Albayrak added.
He announced in early April that Turkey would conduct seismic studies for oil and gas drilling activities, noting that exploration would occur in two areas in the Black Sea and two in the Mediterranean.
The country started its seismic energy exploration in eastern Mediterranean on April 21 in line with the government’s “National Energy and Mining Policy.”
Akkuyu construction ‘to start soon’
Albayrak also noted that construction of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant would start at the end of this year or at the start of next year “at the latest.”
Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation, Rosatom, plans to construct Turkey’s first nuclear power plant in the country’s southern province of Mersin in southern Turkey.
“The Turkish Atomic Energy Agency [TAEK], Turkey’s regulatory body, is working on a detailed study for the construction permit for the Akkuyu nuclear power plant,” Albayrak said, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
He also stressed that all works for localization have already started and even the slightest risk will be addressed in Turkey, a country new to nuclear technology.
On Oct. 4, the TAEK approved AEM-technology as an equipment manufacturer for the Akkuyu plant.
According to an announcement from the company, the TAEK issued the approval certificate to AEM-technology, the machine engineering division of Russia’s Rosatom (Atomenergomash) on Sept. 19. Rosatom is the first of the Akkuyu equipment manufacturers to obtain an official manufacturing certificate.
Meanwhile, the energy watchdog has given a power generation license to Akkuyu Nuclear JSC for a 49-year period, starting as of June 15.
In a statement, the Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EPDK) said it had issued a preliminary license for power generation to the company for a three-year period.
“A 49-year power generation license for the Akkuyu Power Plant will become operational as of June 15,” it stated.
The first unit of the power plant with a planned 4,800 MW installed power capacity was slated to become operational by 2025 according to the agreement, but the company has vowed to complete the work by Oct. 29, 2023, the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Turkish Republic, read the statement.
Turkey and Russia signed an intergovernmental agreement to build and operate a nuclear power plant in Mersin’s Akkuyu in 2010.