No business retreat in east after deadly attacks

No business retreat in east after deadly attacks

ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
No business retreat in east after deadly attacks

Two security personnel and an electrician were killed in an attack in Batman. DHA photo

Turkey’s plan to explore and produce oil in the country’s southeast will continue undeterred by recent terror attacks, said Energy Minister Taner Yıldız said yesterday.

“Turkey will continue its investments in the country’s southeastern and eastern region with determination,” Yıldız told the Daily News. His remarks came a day after the country’s state-run Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) signed a deal with Royal Dutch Shell to conduct oil exploration in Southeast Anatolia and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) killed three at an existing oilfield in the southeast.

The PKK killed the three workers in an attack on an oilfield in the southeastern province of Batman overnight, Anatolia news agency reported. Two security personnel and an electrician were shot dead in Şelmo field, which is operated by Dallas-based firm Transatlantic Petroleum. The field is the second largest in Turkey.

 “This is not just an attack targeting oil fields and natural gas lines in the country, but also Turkey’s development,” said Yıldız.

“In total Turkey produces nearly 3,000 barrels of oil per day from 82 wells and hundreds of locals work in field operation,” said Yıldız, adding that the attacks also targeted Kurdish people living and working in the region.

“The ones killed are locals, from Elazığ and Batman, eastern provinces of Turkey; they are quarreling at the cost of locals’ livelihoods,” he said.

Previous attacks on gas and oil pipelines in the area, as well as he Nov. 23 Batman attack, target Turkey’s political stability, the minister said. “The outlawed PKK has no capacity to represent Kurdish people at all.”

The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.

In 1993 and 1994, some firms stopped operations in the region due to security reasons after terrorist attacks in the area, Yıldız said. “We will increase the security measures and our investments in the region,” he added.

 “I do not think the matter is that complicated,” said Yıldız on the juxtaposition of the attack and Turkey’s deal with Shell.

TPAO’s deal with Shell finalized terms on seismic research off the Mediterranean province of Antalya, as well as land-based drilling work in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır