Drillship Deepwater Champion specially contracted by U.S. energy company Exxon Mobil set sail on Sunday to come to Black Sea.
Mehmet Uysal, Director General of Turkey's petroleum company, TPAO, said Deepwater Champion was constructed in dockyards in South Korea and expected to be in Bandirma province of western province of Balikesir in the first half of March.
"They are planning to start explore deepwater prospects off the shores of Kastamonu by the end of March or beginning of April," Uysal said.
Uysal said approximate water depth in the Black Sea was 2,000 meters, noting that, "our target depth varies between 3,500 meters or 4,500 meters. Total drilling will reach to 6,500 meters there".
TPAO Director General said Exxon Mobil committed to drill two wells in the Black Sea, adding the first well will be drilled off Kastamonu shores. "The company may drill the second well according to the results it will obtain," he noted.
"This ship will make its first drilling in Turkey. Average cost of drilling in the Black Sea is 200 million USD. Under the agreement signed with Exxon Mobil, it will meet all the drilling costs. In case oil can be explored, TPAO will join the investments. Exxon Mobil will get its expenses from the oil that will be taken out," he said.
Deepwater Champion is constructed by Exxon Mobil in shipbuilding yards in South Korea with the recent technology.
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