Turkey anticipates the start of the authorization process for new hydrocarbon exploration and drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean in the first months of 2020, the country's Energy and Natural Resources Minister said Wednesday.
Following his speech at the fourth annual R&D in Energy Workshop in Ankara, Fatih Donmez told journalists the agreement with Libya on maritime boundaries in the Eastern Mediterranean received approval from the general assemblies of both Turkey and Libya.
On Nov. 27, the Turkish Communications Directorate announced that Turkey and Libya signed two memoranda of understanding, one of which, the Restriction of Marine Jurisdictions, determined a portion of Turkey’s maritime jurisdiction in the region.
The MoU came into effect on Dec. 8 after the two countries published it in their respective official gazettes.
"Currently, we are in the process of sending and registering it with the UN," Donmez said.
Turkey applied to the UN to register the pact on Dec. 12. According to Article 102 of the UN Charter: "Every treaty and every international agreement entered into by any Member of the United Nations ... shall as soon as possible be registered with the Secretariat and published by it."
Donmez confirmed that after the pact is published, the ministry would start oil and natural gas exploration in new areas and studies into drilling authorization in the first months of 2020.
Turkey, as a guarantor nation for the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, is currently carrying out hydrocarbon exploration activities in the Eastern Mediterranean with two drilling vessels, the Fatih and Yavuz, along with the Oruc Reis and Barbaros Hayrettin Pasa seismic vessels in the same region.
Reporting by Murat Temizer, Gokce Kucuk
Writing by Ebru Sengul