Turkey plans launch of exploration licensing round

Turkey plans to launch tenders in April for oil and natural gas exploration licenses off its Mediterranean coast, according to state media.

Eric Watkins
Senior Correspondent

LOS ANGELES, Mar. 30 -- Turkey plans to launch tenders in April for oil and natural gas exploration licenses off its Mediterranean coast, according to state media.

The Anatolia news agency quoted Ahmet Faruk Oner, a senior official at Turkish Petroleum Corp., as saying the country would launch this month the farmout process for licenses it has for areas off Antalya, Mersin, and the Gulf of Iskenderun.

"We are now preparing the technical groundwork," Ahmet said, adding, "We will start looking for partners for the licenses." The licenses cover areas within Turkey's 12-mile territorial waters as well as some areas "a little beyond," Ahmet said.

Turkey's decision follows recent developments in nearby Cyprus which signed an agreement with Lebanon in January for the demarcation of a subsea border to facilitate future oil and gas exploration. Cyprus signed a similar subsea maritime agreement with Egypt last year.

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.

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