On 14 May 20, Turkey announced its intention to proceed with oil and gas drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean. Energy Minister Fatih Donmez said that seismic surveys will take place in the Mediterranean, including areas identified in the security and maritime border memoranda signed in November 2019 between Turkey and the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord in Libya.
Donmez said that the process to license the state-run company, Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) ,has already begun and first survey activity will begin as soon as it is completed. The company is to start drilling in parts of Turkey’s contentious maritime borders, agreed on with the Libyan government in Tripoli, but contested by Egypt, Cyprus and Greece.
In an interview with Anadolu Agency, Donmez said that Turkey’s gas an oil exploration plans will proceed as foreseen by agreement, which was signed on 27 November 2019. The agreement seeks to create an exclusive economic zone from Turkey’s southern Mediterranean shore to Libya’s northeast coast.
Donmez also announced that Turkey plans to begin drilling in the Black Sea for the first time, starting in July 2020.