Turkish TPAO and Exxon to sign Black Sea oil deal today

Reuters - Turkish state oil company TPAO and U.S. company Exxon Mobil will sign an oil exploration deal for the Black Sea on Wednesday, TPAO said in a statement on Monday. Major oil importer Türkiye has stepped up efforts in recent years to exploit hydrocarbon reserves in the Black Sea as it looks to diversify energy resources and reduce its fuel bill. Last month a Turkish Energy Ministry source told Reuters drilling would start at the end of 2009 or the start of 2010. TPAO aims to launch production in 2015-2016 if drilling is carried out by 2010. Officials estimate the volume of reserves in the Black Sea at 10 billion barrels.