Turkish energy minister Fatih Durmaz says Turkey plans to drill in the eastern Mediterranean before the end of the year. “In the coming 1-2 months we will drill the first well… off the coast of Antalya… within Turkish economic waters,” he said 8 August.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, meanwhile, on 3 August announced that Turkey will acquire a second drillship. Turkey only acquired its first drillship late 2017, paying $200mn for the ‘DeepSea Metro II’ before renaming it ‘Fatih’ (‘the conqueror’) after the 15th century Ottoman conqueror of Istanbul. TPAO promptly relocated the vessel from the Sea of Marmara to Antalya, northwest Cyprus on the Mediterranean coast. But it has been sitting idle there since, reportedly undergoing “maintenance work”. (CONTINUED - 1102 WORDS)