Turkey's third drillship, acquired from the U.K, is expected to arrive at its final destination in Turkey on March 17, according to ship-tracking data on Thursday.
The drillship currently named "Sertao" completed preparations for its voyage at Port Talbot in Wales on Feb. 22.
According to Turkey's Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Donmez on Feb. 26, the vessel, with the ability to extend down to depths of 11,400 meters and drill to depths of 3,000 meters, is en route to Turkey to support hydrocarbon exploration activities either in the Black Sea or the Eastern Mediterranean.
Turkey, as a guarantor nation for the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), is presently exploring in the Eastern Mediterranean with two drilling vessels Fatih and Yavuz, along with Oruc Reis and Barbaros Hayrettin Pasa seismic vessels in the same region.
As part of Turkey's Annual Presidential Program for 2020 announced on Nov. 4 last year, Turkey plans to conduct five offshore drillings in the Eastern Mediterranean this year, which Donmez said would be continued at pace.
According to Donmez on Feb. 24, the new drillship, the purchase of which was announced by Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Feb. 19, is likely to operate either in the Mediterranean or in the Black Sea where work has been suspended for a long time.
The drillship will be renamed, Donmez explained, adding that the president will be asked to undertake this task.
Samsung built the third drillship in South Korea in 2012, and up to 2015, it was used by Brazilian energy giant Petrobras.
By Murat Temizer