Turkish Petroleum Company plans exploration work in the MediterraneanMay 17th, 2008 - 11:08 am ICT by admin
Nicosia, May 17 (ANI): The Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) which produces most of Turkey’s crude oil output and operates more than 45 oilfields has recently announced that it will expand its exploration in the eastern Mediterranean Sea to include deepwater areas west of the island of Cyprus.
The move is expected to create tension as the exploration programme covers areas, which the Republic of Cyprus included in an offshore bidding round last year.
State owned TPAO has done extensive and exploration work and dominates the Turkish exploration and production sector.
The Company announced during the Turoge 2008 conference in Ankara in March that it carries out exploration in the areas west of Cyprus.
Last year, TPAO Director General Osman Saim Dinc had said that Turkey would carry out seismic studies west of Cyprus between the coasts of Turkey and Egypt in the spring and summer of 2008.
TPAO had always been planning to explore the potential for oil in the Mediterranean, but had prioritized the Black Sea because its energy potential had seemed greater.
“We achieved serious progress in the Black Sea and exploration works are now on track. Therefore this year, we start work in the Mediterranean,” he said.
Tenders for oil exploration and seismic studies in the eastern Mediterranean could well upset Greek Cypriots who last February opened a bidding process to license offshore oil and gas exploration in the same region.
The exploration sites are likely to overlap, further raising political tensions between Turkey and Greek Cyprus.
Ankara protested after Greek Cyprus signed agreements to delineate undersea boundaries with Egypt and Lebanon. Turkish authorities said Turkey and Turkish Cypriots also had legitimate rights and interests in the eastern Mediterranean.
Ankara stated it would not allow its rights to be eroded and asked Lebanon and Egypt not to go ahead with the agreements. (ANI)
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