– Approximately seven million acres to be explored in Turkish Black Sea
– Türkiye Petrolleri Anonim Ortakligi (TPAO) to retain 50% interest in blocks
– ExxonMobil to apply deepwater expertise in new Black Sea venture
Exxon Mobil Corporation has announced the Turkish government approved an agreement between its affiliate ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Turkey B.V. and the Turkish national oil company Türkiye Petrolleri Anonim Ortakligi (TPAO) to explore two deepwater blocks in the Black Sea.
ExxonMobil and TPAO signed the agreement in November 2008 to jointly explore deepwater prospects in the Samsun Block, which measures approximately 2 million acres (8,500 square kilometers) and the eastern portion of 3921 Block, which measures approximately 5 million acres (21,000 square kilometers). Water depths reach an approximate 6,500 feet (2,000 meters).
ExxonMobil will be the operator and will earn a 50% interest in both offshore blocks. TPAO and ExxonMobil intend to collaborate and utilize the skills and operational abilities of both companies during all phases of the block evaluation and potential development.
“We wish to thank the Turkish government for this approval and with it we look forward to exploring with TPAO the hydrocarbon potential of these deepwater Black Sea blocks,” said Russ Bellis, Exploration Director, ExxonMobil International Limited. “We are bringing our global deepwater experience to this prospective unexplored area.”
TPAO President and CEO Mehmet Uysal said, “TPAO and ExxonMobil will be working closely together to assess the potential of these blocks. I believe that we will find commercial quantities of oil and gas.”
In December 2008 ExxonMobil announced that it had further expanded its presence in the Black Sea by signing an agreement with Petrom to explore deepwater portions of the Neptun Block offshore Romania. ExxonMobil affiliates are currently exploring for hydrocarbons in deepwater areas offshore Angola, Brazil, Canada, Greenland, Indonesia, Ireland, Libya, Nigeria, The Philippines and the United States, among others.