Turkey to be more active in Mediterranean: Energy minister
ANKARA – Anadolu AgencyTurkey will be more active in offshore oil and gas exploration with plans to conduct seismic studies in the Black Sea and the Mediterranean by the end of March or beginning of April, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Berat Albayrak said March 14.
A 3-D seismic exploration studies would be conducted with two different vessels, one being the Barbaros Hayrettin Paşa and another one, which will soon be announced by Turkish officials, Albayrak said at the opening of the 8th general assembly of the Turkish Association of Distribution System Operators (ELDER) in Ankara.
Barbaros Hayrettin Paşa operated in oil and natural gas resources exploration two years ago off the coast of Cyprus, but its activities were interrupted in March 2015 when tensions erupted between Greek and Turkish Cypriots over the ownership of the resources.
Turkish Cyprus has since stated the resources of the island belonged to both communities.
“This will be an important year for sea, oil and gas exploration. We will continue with two different vessels, one will explore the Black Sea and the other will explore the Mediterranean Sea. This year will be a more active year for us,” Albayrak said.
Turkey will not only conduct seismic studies, but will also start exploration studies and drilling in the Mediterranean in the next five to 10 years, he said, adding that exploration in the Mediterranean, as a strategic part for Turkey, will allow the region to increase its presence in the global exploration industry.
“The more you search, the more you have the chance to find it. So we will search more. As I said, this will be an active year in the Mediterranean,” he said.
Albayrak stressed electricity production from domestic sources hit a record high last year at 49 percent - a development he said will contribute positively to Turkey’s current account deficit.
“Last year, the share of domestic coal in electricity production increased 23 percent and the share of renewables increased 31 percent,” he said.
Albayrak also spoke about the steps taken to increase the country’s gas storage. “The country’s daily natural gas output capacity increased to 240-250 million cubic meters from 190 million cubic meters. It will reach 300 million cubic meters this year,” he added.