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Turkey sends out first drilling vessel ‘Fatih’ to Eastern Mediterranean Sea

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Oilfield Technology,

Turkey's first drilling vessel, which was named after Istanbul's conqueror Ottoman Sultan Fatih Sultan Mehmet, sailed off to the Mediterranean to start the country's first deep-sea drilling operations. The ship departed yesterday following a ceremony held on the northern Marmara coast with Energy and Natural Resources Minister Berat Albayrak in attendance.

Turkey's first drilling vessel Fatih has a length of 229 m (751 ft) and is capable of drilling to a maximum depth of 40 000 ft. It is scheduled to conduct deep-sea drilling operations off Antalya's shores, as soon as the necessary drilling equipment is loaded on to the vessel, Albayrak said at the ceremony. The first drilling well will reach 2600 m in depth. The minister emphasised that Turkey will commence well drilling operations with local engineers and domestically developed state-of-the-art equipment. The project of the first ultra deep-sea drilling well was designed by Turkish engineers who will predominantly run the management of the operations.

The minister stressed Turkey's ambition to become a global player in oil and gas drilling activities and underscored that the country's drilling vessel Fatih is equipped with the cutting-edge technological equipment and is able to drill up to 12 000 m.

While Turkish Petroleum's seismic vessels Barbaros Hayreddin and Oruç Reis will carry out seismic surveys and collect data both in the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, the drillship Fatih will be deployed wherever the data suggests potential resources, Albayrak said.

Elaborating on the reason they named the ship Fatih, Albayrak said the conquest of Istanbul opened a new era in world history and the deployment of the first drilling vessel marks the beginning of a new era in Turkey's oil and gas drilling objectives.

"Since we are launching a new period, we named the vessel Fatih," the minister said. "We are witnessing a milestone in Turkish energy history."

"The dream of deep-sea drilling activities have not been accomplished since the 1970s because of the lack of trained staff and technologically adequate local machinery. Today, Turkey enjoys the results of energy transformation stimulated by mobilisation of domestic resources," Albayrak remarked.

The energy minister emphasised that Turkey will broaden its deep-sea and land exploration and drilling operations for oil and gas as part of its National Energy and Mining Policy, announced in April 2017.

Thumbnail photo: Turkish Petroleum International Company

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