Highlighting the likely presence of significant oil and natural gas resources in the eastern Mediterranean, Israeli oil and gas exploration firm Delek Drilling and Avner Oil and Gas Exploration has said it aspires to take its investments in Turkey even further. The CEO of Delek Group Yossi Abu stated that they believe there are more oil and natural gas resources in the region while emphasizing that the launching of Turkey’s natural gas exploration activities in the Mediterranean was an important step by the Turkish government.
“As a company that is highly experienced in exploration activities in this particular region, we are very happy to invest in Turkey’s focused efforts in natural gas exploration and production,” Abu said.
Pointing to the fact that the company has, for the past two decades, conducted exploration and production activities predominantly off the shore of Israel, Abu said, “Israel has continued its oil and natural gas exploration activities through long-term government structures and companies for a long time and Delek Drilling began operating after the privatization of the energy sector in the mid-1990s.”
Abu claims that Delek Drilling is the first company to have conducted offshore explorations off the coast of Israel with the Mari B. project. “After this, along with our long-time partner Noble Energy, we first discovered Tamar, the largest natural gas reserve ever discovered in the world, in 2009, followed by Leviathan, which boasts an even larger reserve than Tamar. Moreover, the company also achieved three new discoveries around the world. Now, we have a considerable amount of proven reserves off the shore of Israel.”
The Delek CEO said that Turkey’s natural gas exploration activities in the Mediterranean are the second most important step taken by the Turkish government after explorations in the Black Sea.
“We believe that there is potential for more oil and natural gas resources to be uncovered in the region [the Eastern Mediterranean]; therefore, the steps taken by the Turkish government to launch natural gas exploration activities in the Mediterranean are very important. I think there is potential for exploration of more oil and gas off the shore of Turkey. We are very happy to invest in natural gas exploration and production in Turkey as a highly experienced company in exploration activities in the region.” He also highlighted that if the Turkish government allows, they will also assist with seismic analyses and other research activities.
Earlier, a Turkish seismic ship embarked on explorative surveys on April 21 in the eastern Mediterranean for oil and gas resources and will continue conducting test drillings until May 31. The explorations form part of the “assertive course of explorative and sounding works,” announced by Turkey’s Energy Minister Berat Albayrak.
With a possible agreement likely to be signed between Turkey and Israel within the framework of the normalization process, which gained momentum in the second half of last year, the option of transferring resources from the region to international markets through Turkey has also improved.
Following a visit by Israeli Minister of National Infrastructure, Energy, and Water Resources Yuval Steinitz to Turkey last October, the two countries initiated dialogues for the proposed natural gas pipeline project.
Leviathan and Tamar, Israel’s largest natural gas fields, are estimated to hold some 800 billion cubic meters of natural gas reserves. Minister Steinitz had announced that besides these two, another 2.2 trillion cubic meters of natural gas were yet to be discovered in the region.
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