Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan confirmed the discovery of natural gas deposits in its Black Sea territorial waters in a televised address.
Erdoğan added that Turkey would accelerate its hunt for reserves in the Mediterranean as soon as a separate shipping vessel, the Kanuni, finishes maintenance and becomes operational by the end of this year.
The EU has called on Turkey to cease exploration in areas of the East Mediterranean also claimed by Greece and Cyprus. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Wednesday that the issue would be addressed at the September European Council meeting of EU leaders.
The new Black Sea find is estimated at 320 billion cubic meters, and was found while drilling at a depth of 500 meters — but Turkey plans to drill another 1,000 meters deeper, citing seismic data showing additional reserves.
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