Ankara, Nov 14 : Turkey’s drill ship Kanuni has set sail from Istanbul to the Black Sea to start its first mission, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Donmez announced.
Kanuni will carry out drilling activities at the Sakarya Gas Field off the northern province of Zonguldak after having some maintenance at the Port of Filyos at the province, Xinhua news agency quoted Donmez said at a ceremony on Friday at Istanbul’s Haydarpasa Port before the vessel’s departure.
The ship will begin drilling in the first months of 2021, according to the Minister.
To be able to pass under the three bridges of the Bosphorus Strait, the ship towers had been dismantled at Haydarpasa Port.
Turkey’s Fatih drillship, which has recently discovered 405 billion cubic meters of natural gas reserves, is currently conducting drilling activities in the Turkali-1 well in the same gas field.
Friday’s development comes weeks after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that Turkey had found more gas reserves in the Black Sea.
Meanwhile, the Turkish seismic survey vessel, the Oruc Reis, also sailed to the Eastern Mediterranean Sea to resume its activities earlier last month.
The vessel has so far collected a total of 3,525 km seismic data in the Mediterranean Sea.
The developments come amid heightened tensions in the region as Greece has disputed Turkey’s rights to energy exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean, Hurriyet Daily News reported.
Ankara sent out drill ships to explore for energy on its continental shelf, asserting its rights in the region as well as those of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
European Union countries have been trying to mediate between Turkey and Greece over their conflicting demands.
Turkey says that Greece’s maritime territory claims in the region, based on small islands near the Turkish coast, are in defiance of the international law.
Greece and Turkey are both Nato members, but have a history of border disputes and competing claims over maritime rights.
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