Turkey will start exploring for gas in the eastern Mediterranean this year, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed Thursday, after signing a maritime deal with Libya.
“We will start search and drilling activities as soon as possible in 2020 after issuing licences for the areas,” Erdogan said during a two-hour speech in the capital.
He added that Turkey’s seismic exploration vessel Oruc Reis would soon be deployed.
Ankara angered neighbouring countries in the Mediterranean with an agreement signed with the Tripoli government in November, which claimed extensive areas of the sea for Turkey.
Greece says the deal fails to take into account the island of Crete, while Turkey has already upset Cyprus by sending ships to search for oil and gas off the divided island.