Exxon Mobil Corp. and Turkey's state-run oil company, TPAO, signed a deal Wednesday for the joint exploration and development of oil and natural gas off its Black Sea coast
Exxon Mobil Corp and Turkey's state-run oil company, TPAO, signed a deal Wednesday for the joint exploration and development of oil and natural gas off its Black Sea coast.
Turkey imports almost all of its oil and has turned to a policy of prospecting for offshore oil in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea in order to reduce dependence on foreign imports.
TPAO estimates that the Black Sea may hold some 10 billion barrels of oil, which would cover Turkey's oil needs for the next 50 years.
"I hope that this joint venture will be crowned with the discovery of oil and natural and that our dependence on foreign countries will be reduced, or even eliminated," Turkey's Energy Minister Hilmi Guler said at a signing ceremony.
Exploration costs could mount to $450 million (euro355 million), Guler said. Developing resources could reach $20 billion (euro15 billion), the minister added.
The exploration will take place off the coast of the Black Sea port cities of Samsun and Kastamonu, Guler said.
Turkey hopes to start producing oil from the Black Sea by 2015.
Turkey has signed a similar Black Sea oil exploration deal with Brazil's Petrobas.