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Turkey is preparing to explore for oil in the Hindren and Choman blocks of Iraqi Kurdistan more than a year after a hitherto non-existent Turkish energy entity emerged as the new kid on the block. But there’s a catch.
A day after Turkish Oil Minister Taner Yildiz announced plans to start drilling in the two blocks, which are wedged between the Iranian border and ExxonMobil’s Betwata exploration block, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) warned that any exploration in its area of control in Mount Qandil could not proceed without its blessing.
Mr Yildiz said on 2 March that Ankara had secured agreement from both Baghdad and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to begin drilling in two of the blocks it was awarded by Erbil in 2013, though neither the Turkish entity, as it was then known, nor Erbil made a formal announcement at the time (see map, MEES, 21 June 2013). The Turkish entity has since been named the Turkish Energy Company (TEC) and has been assigned five exploration blocks.
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