Turkey’s third drillship arrives on east Mediterranean coast: report

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In this Tuesday, July 9, 2019 photo, a helicopter flies over Turkey's drilling ship, 'Fatih' dispatched towards the eastern Mediterranean, near Cyprus. Turkish officials say the drillships Fatih and Yavuz will drill for gas, which has prompted protests from Cyprus. (Turkish Defence Ministry via AP, Pool)

The third addition to Turkey’s hydrocarbon exploration fleet arrived in Taşucu, Mersin province, a coastal city in the Mediterranean region of the country, on Sunday, Energy Minister Fatih Dönmez said, according to the state-run Anadolu news agency.

Dönmez said the Petroleum Pipeline Corporation (BOTAŞ) took possession of the drillship on Jan. 31, after which it set off from the UK.

“We named our third drillship Kanuni. After an 18-day voyage, our ship entered Turkey’s Mediterranean coastal waters on Friday. The Kanuni arrived in Taşucu, Mersin province, this morning,” he said.

“Kanuni,” meaning the Lawgiver, was one of the designations given to Suleiman I, the 10th and longest reigning sultan of the Ottoman Empire.

The vessel, which was built in 2012 by Samsung in South Korea, can drill 3,000 meters under the surface. Brazilian energy company Petrobras used it for exploration until 2015.

“The ship will start drilling as soon as it is ready,” Dönmez added.

Turkey is currently exploring the eastern Mediterranean for hydrocarbons with two drilling vessels, Fatih and Yavuz, along with the Oruç Reis and Barbaros Hayrettin Paşa seismic vessels in the same region.

The country plans to conduct five offshore drillings in the eastern Mediterranean this year, according to Turkey’s Annual Presidential Program for 2020.

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