Ankara has purchased its third offshore drilling ship which will arrive in Turkey next month, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday, adding that the ship will begin operations in 2020, Reuters reported.
Speaking to lawmakers from his ruling AK Party in Ankara, Erdogan said the new ship was an “ultra maritime drill ship” that can drill down to 11,400 metres but did not specify where the ship would operate.
Reports elsewhere said it would probably be off Crete.
Two of Ankara’s drillships, Yavuz and Fatih are currently operating in and around Cyprus.
Reports earlier this month said Turkey had recently purchased the drillship, Sertao.
According to the reports, Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) acquired the Sertao at auction in Britain for $37.5 million. The drill was built in South Korea in 2012 and was used by Brazilian company Petrobras until 2015.
According to a trade magazine, the rig has been in Port Talbot, Wales for two years but the sale had been completed.
The drill ship was manufactured by Samsung in 2012 in South Korea. It has the ability to operate under very high pressure and high temperatures and can reach depths of 11,400 metres and can drill to 3,0000 metres. It is 227 metres long and 42 metres wide.
Reportedly it is bigger than the Yavuz and the Fatih.
Referring to the eastern Mediterranean, Erdogan said that after Turkey’s agreement with Libya, the balance in the region had been strengthened.
“The EU has no power in relation to Libya to make decisions and I would like to express this in particular,” the Turkish president said. He accused the EU, which is backing Cyprus in relation to the Turkish drilling, of trying to take over the situation in the region.
“It finds duties for itself there. Based on what? You don’t have such competence. Neither on land nor at sea. Turkey’s position is different,” he said.
Erdogan argued that thanks to Turkey’s “resolute stance on this issue”, the status quo in the Mediterranean had begun to be slowly accepted by the countries in the region.