Turkey's fourth drill ship will begin drilling activities next summer, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Donmez said on Thursday.
The new ship, which is capable of operating in harsh sea conditions and even in high-pressure reservoirs, will join the fleet in the spring of 2022.
This is part of exploratory work that will accelerate in the first quarter of 2022 with the Fatih drill ship scheduled to drill one more natural gas exploration well.
"We plan to finalize the pre-production completion operations in all wells in 2022," Donmez said.
Turkey currently has two seismic research ships, Oruc Reis and Barbaros Hayrettin Pasa and three drill ships, Fatih, Kanuni and Yavuz operating in the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.
With a production start last year in the Black Sea, a total of 540 billion cubic meters of output was achieved.
Last year, natural gas production overall totaled 457.82 million cubic meters, and by October this year it had reached 347.3 million cubic meters, Donmez said.
Work on placing the distribution pipeline on the seabed in the Black Sea will also begin in the first half of 2022, Donmez said, adding that the first phase of production would begin in 2023.