ANKARA: Royal Dutch Shell signed an agreement with Turkey's state-owned energy company TPAO on oil exploration in the western Black Sea region on Thursday, envisaging drilling at least one well under the deal.
Shell executive Andy Brown said the cost of drilling the well would be around $150-200 million.
Turkey has stepped up exploration efforts in the Black Sea and Mediterranean in cooperation with foreign companies as it tries to reduce its import dependence.
Turkey's energy imports, which amounted to $60.1 billion last year, are behind a gaping current account deficit, its main economic weakness. In its exploration work in the Black Sea Turkey has yet to find any oil.
TPAO signed an accord with Shell for hydrocarbon exploration and production in the Mediterranean and southeastern Turkey in November 2011.
That agreement included plans for shale gas exploration near the southeastern city of Diyarbakir. It started exploration at the Saribugday 1 field there last August. (Reuters)