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June 12, 2020 Special Dispatch No. 8796

Turkish Energy Minister: Erdoğan And Libya's Al-Sarraj Want To Develop Cooperation On Searching For Oil, Natural Gas In Libya

June 12, 2020
Libya, Turkey | Special Dispatch No. 8796

On June 9, 2020, the YouTube channel of Turkey's Energy and Natural Resources Ministry uploaded a video of an interview that Turkish Energy And Natural Resources Minister Fatih Dönmez gave on June 8, on the state-run TRT Haber news channel. In the interview, Dönmez said that "in three or four months," the state-run Turkish Petroleum Corporation will begin seismic search activities in the parts of the Mediterranean Sea affected by the memorandum upon which Turkey and the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA), headed by Prime Minister Fayez Al-Sarraj, agreed in November 2019. Dönmez listed other countries in which the Turkish government is involved in developing petroleum resources, including Russia, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Azerbaijan. He further said that, regarding Libyan territory, "President [Erdoğan] and the honorable [Fayez] Al-Sarraj declared in a joint press statement that they had discussed further developing their cooperation on searching for hydrocarbons, that is, oil and natural gas" and that "right now, the construction of two large electrical plants [in Libya] belongs to two large private firms of ours."

To view the clip of Turkish Energy Minister Fatih Dönmez on MEMRI TV, click here or below.

"Turkish Petroleum Has Become A Strong Regional Player In The Search For And Production Of Oil, Not Only In Libya, But In Other Regions Of Africa, And In Nearby Regions"

Fatih Dönmez: "We determined seven license areas, including one small one, with the Libya memorandum, shown in the striped section here. By appealing in recent weeks to the Mining And Petroleum Activities General Directorate [of Turkey], Turkish Petroleum asked for permission to carry out oil searching and production activities in this area. There is a legal procedure, there will be a public display period of about three months, and after that, if no one else has applied, Turkish Petroleum will start searching for oil in these areas."

Interviewer: "Is there an approximate date for this?"

Fatih Dönmez: "There is about three months for the public display period, and maybe there will be a one-month evaluation period. I estimate that in three or four months, we will first of all conduct seismic searching, and according to the information acquired that way, will establish locations.

[...]

"Turkish Petroleum has become a strong regional player in the search for and production of oil, not only in Libya, but in other regions of Africa, and in nearby regions. In Azerbaijan, in Hazar, we have partnerships and fields. Turkey is doing oil work in Russia. We are doing research in Afghanistan. There are fields in our neighbor, Iraq, where we are doing searching and production. Before the pandemic, we had another project that we were planning in Algeria.

[...]

"President [Erdoğan] And The Honorable [Fayez] Al-Sarraj Declared... That They Had Discussed Further Developing Their Cooperation On Searching For Hydrocarbons – Oil And Natural Gas"

"We know that the units connected to [Libyan] putschist [Khalifa] Haftar are rapidly withdrawing and the only legitimate government in the country is starting to slowly take control of those areas. The honorable President [Erdoğan] and the honorable [Fayez] Al-Sarraj declared in a joint press statement that they had discussed further developing their cooperation on searching for hydrocarbons – oil and natural gas. There will be lots of work in infrastructure and superstructure. Our building contractors are familiar with that region, they have done much work [there] in the past. Right now, the construction of two large electrical plants [in Libya] belongs to two large private firms of ours."

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