Turkey’s first drilling ship will be sent to the for offshore oil and exploration and drilling in the region as soon as possible, Turkey’s Minister of and Natural Resources said on Monday.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Kazan Soda Electricity Production facility in Ankara, Albayrak hailed 2017 as a successful year for oil and natural exploration, and said the country’s first active drillship is destined to open a new page in exploration for Turkey.

The country has already undertaken oil and exploration using two seismic ships, but the vessel will be the country’s first active drillship.

The South Korean vessel was produced in 2011, has a length of 229 meters, and is capable of drilling to a maximum depth of 40,000 feet.

Albayrak noted that last year was also important in terms of the launch of Turkey’s Renewable Resources Zone (YEKA) tenders, which were significant in efforts aimed at reducing foreign source dependency.

“The YEKA tenders will continue in 2018 intensively as we try to make our country a center for wind and solar technology,” he asserted.

As an importing country, costs are an important share of the country’s current account deficit as Turkey is heavily dependent on foreign resources, including oil and natural . Consequently, part of the country’s target is to increase the share of domestic and renewable sources in its total electricity generation.

In 2016, Turkey produced 32 percent of its electricity from natural , coal accounted for 32 percent, 25 percent was produced from hydroelectricity and the remaining share was generated through wind, solar, geothermal, and biomass power plants.

Source: http://aa.com.tr/en/economy/turkeys-1st-drillship-to-be-sent-to-mediterranean-soon/1031570