ISTANBUL: Turkey’s Fatih vessel has begun drilling for oil and natural gas in the Black Sea for the first time, Energy Minister Fatih Donmez said on Monday.
Donmez said on Twitter that the ship began drilling in the Tuna-1 region. Fatih was located some 100 nautical miles north of Turkey’s Black Sea coastal province Zonguldak, according to Refinitiv Eikon data.
“If there is anything, we will certainly find it,” Donmez wrote.The Fatih vessel had previously drilled in the eastern Mediterranean. Turkey’s other drill ship Yavuz is continuing drilling operations around the island of Cyprus.
A third drill that Turkey has bought is expected to begin operations this year.Ankara has been odds with European Union countries, mainly Cyprus and Greece, over ownership over natural resources in the eastern Mediterranean. Cyprus’s internationally recognised government discovered offshore gas in 2011.
Turkey, which does not have diplomatic relations with Cyprus’s government, says that some areas in which Nicosia has operations are either on the Turkish continental shelf or in areas where the breakaway Turkish Cypriot state has rights over any finds.