Turkey applies for oil exploration licenses in Libya

Turkey applies for oil exploration licenses in Libya
Turkey says it has a bilateral agreement with the Libyan Government of National Accord, which would allow it to receive oil exploration permits in seven spots.
2 min read
09 June, 2020
Turkey is a strong military backer of the GNA [Getty]

Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Fatih Dönmez said his country had applied for licenses for oil exploration and production in Libya, as part of a bilateral agreement.

Citing a Monday television interview, Arabi21 reported that seven areas were designated within the oil exploration permit applications, according to Dönmez.

The legal process could take up to three months, the official said, after which exploration activities will start according to data provided by the Turkish Petroleum Corporation.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Libya Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj, head of the UN-backed GNA, have held talks on increasing bilateral cooperation in oil and gas exploration, the minister said.

The Turkish Petroleum Corporation has become a "strong player" in regional oil exploration and production, while the Turkey-flagged Yavuz drilling vessel has already carried out six different drilling operations in the eastern Mediterranean.

Similar negotiations with Algeria were also ongoing before the coronavirus pandemic, the official said.

Turkey is a strong military backer of the GNA and has provided the government-led forces with support against the Khalifa Haftar, a militia leader who is backed by the UAE, Russia and Egypt. 

Read also: Erdogan reaches 'agreements' with Trump over Libya conflict

The news comes after the recent reopening of the Hamada pipeline - which runs from Libya's El-Sharara oilfield – after Haftar's forces halted its operations by closing a nearby port over claims that oil revenues were funding the GNA. 

Turkey has not yet disclosed the seven oil exploration sites it intends to operate.

Tripoli, the base of the GNA, has been under attack by Haftar's forces since April 2019, after the rebel commander launched an offensive to seize Libya's capital.

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