Turkey determined seven licensed areas in the Eastern Mediterranean for oil exploration and drilling under the recent Libya pact, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Donmez announced on Monday.
Speaking during an interview on TRT Haber television channel, Donmez said that Turkey completed six drilling studies in the Eastern Mediterranean so far, while the Yavuz drilling vessel is conducting a seventh in the Selcuklu-1 location to the west of Cyprus.
He explained that Turkish drilling procedures fall under two categories: the licensed areas that are issued by the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) to Turkey and the licensed areas that are issued by the Turkish Republic to Turkish Petroleum -- Turkey's national oil company.
Turkish Petroleum has already applied in recent weeks to drill in the seven chosen licensed areas in the Eastern Mediterranean under the recent Libya pact.
On Nov. 27, Ankara and Libya’s UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) signed two separate pacts, one that encompasses military cooperation and the other maritime boundaries of the two countries in the Eastern Mediterranean.
The maritime pact, effective from Dec. 8, asserted Turkey's rights in the region in the face of unilateral drilling by the Greek Cypriot administration, clarifying that the TRNC also has rights to the resources in the area.
“The legal procedure will take almost three months and if there are no other applications, Turkish Petroleum will start new drilling activities in these areas in the following three to four months,” the minister asserted.
Turkey has been conducting oil exploration and production activities in Libya for nearly 20 years, but these works were interrupted in 2011.
According to Donmez, with the recent positive news from Libya, new infrastructure projects can be realized. "Turkish contractors are very familiar with the region and currently two big Turkish private firms are constructing two new big electricity production plants," he explained, adding that these projects could become operational in one or two months.
- Turkey's mini YEKA tender announcement set for Oct.
Donmez also addressed Turkey's plans to announce the new mini Renewable Energy Resources Zone (YEKA) tenders in October for provinces that have enough solar capacity of between 10 and 50 megawatts (MW).
During the fourth quarter of 2019, the country announced plans to hold YEKA tenders for solar energy in a new form, known as "mini YEKA."
The YEKA tenders form part of Turkey's aim to supply 65% of its energy needs from domestic and renewable sources by 2023. In 2017, through the energy ministry's YEKA tenders, Turkey held a solar tender with a capacity of 1,000 MW with a winning bid price per megawatt-hour of $6.99. An equivalent capacity wind tender was achieved at $3.49 per megawatt-hour also in 2017.
Turkey produced 66% of its electricity from local and renewable sources in the first five months of 2020, Donmez recalled and noted on May 24, a record 90% share of daily electricity production was generated from local and renewable sources.
US$1 equals 6.78 Turkish liras
By Ebru Sengul Cevrioglu and Sibel Morrow