Oil drilling in Black Sea postponed until Feb. 25.
Officials announced that the Norwegian oil exploration platform Leiv Eiriksson, which previously dropped anchor off the coast of Sinop, could not start drilling since preparations could not be completed as planned.
Leiv Eiriksson passed through the Bosporus in late December on its way to the Black Sea. The semi-submersible platform, which is the second-largest drilling rig in the world, will carry out drilling operations in the Black Sea for state-owned Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) and Brazilian oil company Petrobras. It will drill for oil at a depth of 6,000 meters with a daily cost of up to $1 million. The platform will stay in the Black Sea for five years.
In April 2009, the TPAO signed an $800 million agreement with Petrobras to jointly explore for oil in the Black Sea. The government expects to make an investment of around $60 million for the initial stages of exploration.
Energy Minister Taner Y?ld?z previously said joint exploration with Petrobras could last about two to three years and that it is expected to uncover significant oil reserves. The minister stated that the government was determined to continue its exploration in the Black Sea and projected investing a total of $450 million to this end.
The TPAO believes that the Black Sea has some 10 billion barrels of oil, which will help Turkey reduce its dependence on foreign oil.