Hurriyet Daily News - The Deepwater Champion, a drill ship contracted by the US-based energy giant Exxon Mobil, set sail on Sunday to explore oil in the Black Sea.
Mehmet Uysal, Director of the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) said Deepwater Champion was constructed in dockyards in South Korea and is expected to be in Bandirma in the western Turkish province of Balikesir in the first half of March.
“They are planning to start exploring deepwater prospects off the shores of Kastamonu province by the end of March or beginning of April,” said Uysal.
Uysal said the approximate water depth in the Black Sea is 2,000 meters. “Our target depth varies between 3,500 meters or 4,500 meters. Total drilling will reach to 6,500 meters there."
The TPAO Director said Exxon Mobil committed to drill two wells in the Black Sea, adding the first well will be drilled off Kastamonu. “The company may drill the second well according to the results it obtains from the first,” he said.
“This ship will do its first drilling in Turkey. The average cost of drilling in the Black Sea is USD 200 million. Under the agreement signed with Exxon Mobil, it will meet all the drilling costs. In case oil is found, TPAO will join the investment. Exxon Mobil will get its expenses from the oil recovered.”