Turkey will begin drilling with it's new seismic vessel to explore for natural gas and oil in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Berat Albayrak said on Friday.
Albayrak said negotiations are almost complete for a new seismic vessel that will be placed on the country's inventory in the last quarter of this year.
"We will conduct our own drilling activities with our engineers," he said.
Turkey's first seismic vessel, Barbaros Hayrettin Pasa, began operations in the MediterraneanSea in April while a second vessel, MTA Oruc Reis, will soon be ready for exploration.
The minister said that many international reports declare that this century will be one for natural gas.
"In the next five years there will be an additional LNG [liquefied natural gas] capacity of 60 to 100 billion cubic metres, which will come from Australia and the US. We [Turkey] will also work on our LNG markets. Before the end of this year, Turkey's second floating LNG plant (FSRU) will be operational," he declared.
Turkey's first FSRU became operational in Izmir in December 2016.
Albayrak said that Turkey's LNG capacity is expected to reach 107 million cubic meters (mcm) per day from the current capacity of 64 mcm.
Wind energy tender
Referring to Turkey's wind project tender - Turkey's Renewable Energy Resources Area Project (YEKA) will enable the country to install 1,000 megawatts of wind capacity in seven regions with high wind power at a cost of around $1.2 billion.
"We will hold a reverse auction on the wind power project tender next week."
A consortium of Turkish and international companies submitted a total of eight final bid offers for the YEKA project on Thursday.
The wind projects plan to generate 3,000 gigawatt-hours of electricity per year, powering 1.1 million homes annually.