Turkey in search of an oil partner

ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkish oil company TPAO will issue a tender in May for a foreign partner for its exploration license in the eastern Mediterranean, TPAO exploration director Ahmet Faruk Oner said yesterday. He told Reuters the exploration license covers regions off the coasts of Antalya, Mersin and the Iskenderun Gulf. The issue of oil exploration has become controversial in the eastern Mediterranean amid objections by Turkey and Turkish Cypriots to a decision by the internationally recognized government in the south of the island to launch a round of offshore exploration licenses. «We will issue advertisements in May for the farm-out tender for the license which we have in the Mediterranean,» Oner said. He said TPAO had not yet held any talks with international partners. Companies interested in taking part in the tender will be invited to Turkey and will be given between one and three days to assess data related to the licenses before deciding if they want to participate. «Our general expectation is that this assessment process will be completed within three months,» he said. Exploration will initially be held in a region up to 12 nautical miles off the Turkish coast and then the areas further out to sea and to the south of Cyprus will be assessed.

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