Exxon aims to be with Turkey in Black Sea

Exxon aims to be with Turkey in Black Sea

NEW DELHI - Reuters
Exxon aims to be with Turkey in Black Sea

ExxonMobil wants to be in deep offshore drilling in the Black Sea with Turkey, Turkey’s state-run energy company TPAO’s acting head said. REUTERS photo

Exxon is in talks with Turkey’s TPAO to buy a stake in a block in the Black Sea, and the country is on the hunt for shale gas in its own territory, the acting head of the state-owned energy company has said.

“ExxonMobil wants to be in the Black Sea with us, in deep offshore,” TPAO’s acting president and chief executive, Besim Şişman, told on the sidelines of an industry conference.

“It’s on the Ukraine and Romania side,” he added, without giving further details on the talks between Turkey’s state owned energy company and Exxon, the world’s largest publicly-traded oil company.An Exxon spokesman said the company did not comment on commercial discussions.

Turkey, keen to reduce its dependence on imports, has stepped up exploration efforts in the Black Sea and Mediterranean in cooperation with foreign companies. Turkey has yet to find any oil.

Şişman said TPAO would join the latest bidding round for blocks offshore in Lebanon with Royal Dutch Shell, which it already partners with in the Mediterranean and in shale exploration. TPAO is drilling a first well for shale gas with Shell currently, Şişman said, and is talking to other companies for further work in the sector.

The country is also seeking exploration and production assets elsewhere in the region.