Turkey's 'Conqueror' Starts Drilling

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TAGS: Turkey

Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) has begun drilling in the eastern Mediterranean with its deepwater drillship 'Fatih' (Conqueror), the company's acting CEO, President and Director Melih Han Bilgin told a Turkish parliamentary committee.

This development is a "game-changer" for Turkey in offshore oil exploration, Bilgin said, revealing that Turkey is moving to produce its own drilling machine.

During a briefing to Turkish lawmakers on the company's finances, Bilgin said Fatih, a 229-meter (751 feet) long drillship whose tower rises to 103m (338 ft), is one of the most technologically advanced of its kind. TPAO acquired the drillship, previously known as Deepsea Metro II, last year.

Eastern Mediterranean is an important energy basin. "Only with a national ship and using our own abilities would we be able to establish a presence in eastern  Mediterranean. And this we can now do. Our drillings are a game-changer for Turkey," said Bilgin.

TPAO's acting CEO said the state oil company is making new plans for the future. "We are planning all the things we can do in the eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea. In the framework of the 'all-national' strategy to develop domestic industry, we are planning for these (drillships) and the support ships to be built in Turkey. We will soon be able to reveal these plans to you," said Bilgin.

[Kathimerini Cyprus, CNA]

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