Speaking at a conference, titled “Oil and Gas Expansion in Turkey,” in Ankara yesterday, Uysal said if ongoing drilling prove successful in finding oil, they will increase the amount of their investment from $10 billion to $15 billion. He added that they also plan to explore for oil in the Mediterranean much as they are doing in the Black Sea. “We hope exciting days of exploration will begin in the Mediterranean through partnerships in 2015,” he said, adding that they will first engage in seismic research and technical analysis to determine the potential there and then look for partnerships with private companies as they did in the Black Sea.
Yıldız says his ministry working to offer TPAO to public
Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yıldız on Tuesday said his ministry has been engaged in efforts to have TPAO shares traded on the stock market next year.
Following a meeting with ExxonMobil’s exploration director for Europe, Russell Billis, in Ankara yesterday, Yıldız told reporters that TPAO’s initial public offering (IPO) on the İstanbul Stock Exchange (İMKB) is a way for them to build an energy sector that can stand on its own two feet without state aid. “[Among other options], we have such an option to realize that. We are making preparations for next year. We will certainly bring this matter before Parliament,” he said.
When asked what he discussed with Billis, Yıldız said he was informed about the American company’s oil explorations in the Black Sea. ExxonMobil currently has two oil exploration projects in the Black Sea, one in Samsun and the other in Kastamonu.
Domestic production would allow Turkey to meet only up to 10 percent of its demand for oil and natural gas, Yıldız said, adding that the country should currently be at the level of meeting 70-80 percent of its demand given the foreign trade balances. Turkey had a foreign trade deficit of over $34 billion in the first seven months of this year. Almost 60 percent of this deficit was the result of natural gas and oil imports. Turkey aims to be self-sufficient -- regarding its oil and gas needs -- by 2023, the centennial of the republic. ExxonMobil’s Billis said their relationship with both the Turkish government and TPAO is very successful. He said they plan to begin two more drills in the Black Sea using a very large oil exploration platform that was constructed in South Korea and is due to arrive in Turkey early next year. “Work on the first of these drills will start in the first half of 2011,” Billis said. Ankara Today’s Zaman
In reference to the drilling in the Black Sea, Uysal said they expect to find natural gas and petroleum in both the western and eastern parts of the sea. “When drilling at Yassıhöyük 1, 60 kilometers north of Zonguldak, is completed in the next few months, we will begin drilling off the coast of Trabzon in partnerships with private companies. We will for the first time send invitations to domestic and foreign professional enterprises on this matter,” he said.
TPAO recently shook hands with American Chevron to partner on two deep-sea drills in the Black Sea. If that agreement is approved by the Cabinet, Chevron will be TPAO’s partner in Yassıhöyük 1 and also begin work on another drill in the Black Sea that contains, TPAO believes, some 10 billion barrels of oil and 3 billion cubic meters of natural gas reserves. One deep-sea drill costs around $250 million and, according to the public-private partnerships formed between TPAO and other companies, this entire cost is borne by the private partner. If exploration efforts prove fruitful, however, the reserve is equally shared between the partners.
Uysal also talked about TPAO initiatives abroad. He said they concluded a drill in Libya in which they found 1,700 barrels of oil. “We explored six sites in Libya, and that is a rare-incident in the history of searching for oil,” he added. “The projects we entered into in Libya and Iraq will turn TPAO into a company producing up to 300,000 barrels of oil in four to five years,” he also said. The state-owned company currently produces 70,000 barrels of oil each day.