Turkey plans to begin exploratory drilling for oil and natural gas in the Mediterranean Sea early next year, the Daily Sabah reports.

The Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) acquired Deepsea Metro 2, a South Korean vessel, for exploratory drilling. The vessel is projected to arrive in Turkey on December 31st, the Turkish newspaper reports.

The Deepsea Metro 2 can drill to a depth of 40,000 feet, according to the Daily Sabah.

While Turkey has conducted seismic surveys, this step represents the country’s first attempt to drill for oil and gas in the Mediterranean Basin, according to the newspaper.

The cost of the exploratory-drilling project was expected to reach $200 million, Cyprus Mail previously reported.

Turkey’s neighbors have led the way in the exploration and development of the eastern Mediterranean’s energy resources. Israel, Egypt, and Cyprus have all discovered large natural gas deposits off their coasts. Lebanon, eager to develop its own offshore resource, recently awarded two offshore blocks to an international consortium for exploration and development.