Turkey strikes oil, gas deal with Shell

Turkey strikes oil, gas deal with Shell

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Turkey strikes oil, gas deal with Shell

TPAO’s Mehmet Uysal (L) and Shell’s Malcolm Brinded shake hands as Minister Yıldız applauds during an Ankara ceremony. AP photo

Turkey has signed a deal with Royal Dutch Shell for energy exploration and production sharing in the Mediterranean and southeastern Anatolia.

Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yıldız rejected suggestions that the deal was a response in retaliation to Greek Cypriot and Israeli oil exploration off the coast of Cyprus.

“The deal is a result of technical work and has nothing to do with international speculation,” Yıldız said at a ceremony yesterday.

The agreement, which covers seismic research off the Mediterranean province of Antalya as well as onshore drilling work near the southeastern province of Diyarbakır, was signed between the state-run Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) and Shell. Seismic research will be conducted off Antalya until 2014, after which exploratory drilling will begin. Shell and TPAO will share output equally if oil or gas is found, TPAO general manager Mehmet Uysal said.

Shell’s Exploration and Production Chairman Malcolm Brinded said after identifying soil formation in Turkey’s southeastern Anatolian region they would initially open five wells and could expand to more than 10 wells in the future.

Greek Cyprus signed a deal with the U.S. energy company Noble for exploratory drilling off the south coast of the island. Turkey retaliated by sending a ship to explore for gas in the Mediterranean after signing an accord with the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. The Greek Cypriot government angered Turkey further by seeking to extend cooperation with Israel in the exploration and export of natural gas.

Yıldız said the projects Israel and Greek Cyprus are maintaining in the eastern Mediterranean are against international law and all Cypriots should benefit from energy projects.