Turkey to build seismic search vehicle

Turkey to build seismic search vehicle

ANKARA - Anatolia News Agency
An agreement has been reached for the construction of a seismic research vessel, which will increase Turkey’s capacity to carry out oil exploration in its territorial seas.

The Undersecretariat for Defense Industries, which has been overseeing the tender process in the name of the General Directorate of Mineral Research and Exploration (MTA), will sign a construction agreement worth 100 million euros with the contractor next week.

Turkey owns two seismic research vessels, the MTA’s Sismik-1 and the Koca Piri Reis, which belongs to Dokuz Eylül University. Turkey also rents seismic vessels when necessary.

The new seismic vessel, which will be part of the MTA’s inventory, will feature the latest technological hardware. The vessel will be 86 meters in length and 22 meters wide, and its construction will be completed by 2014, according to projections. It will be capable of conducting seismic research even in the oceans.

“Rented foreign seismic research vessels have sometimes succumbed to pressures exerted by [Turkey’s] neighbors,” sources close to MTA said, adding that large foreign seismic research vessels The Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) has rented in the past have avoided some marine areas in the Aegean and Mediterenean seas, where Turkey is involved in territorial disputes with neighboring countries. “This makes it especially important [to have a] domestic seismic research vessel, as there can be strategic and confidentiality issues with the information and findings obtained by foreign vessels,” sources said.