Turkey's energy and natural resources minister said on Friday that Turkey would launch negotiations with companies to explore oil and natural gas.
ANKARA- Taner Yildiz said the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) would sit at a negotiation table with companies that were interested in oil and natural gas exploration in Iskenderun and Mersin gulfs in the Mediterranean coast.
"We are assessing company bids, and I hope that we can sign a new contract within this year," Yildiz told AA correspondent in an exclusive interview.
Yildiz said Turkey had not given up oil and natural gas exploration in the Black Sea, however it had given priority to exploration in the Mediterranean for political developments and technical reasons.
"The conditions of the company, the number of wells they will dig and the amount of investments are important," Yildiz said.
Yildiz said if TPAO had a foreign partner in oil and natural exploration project in the Mediterranean, international companies would meet all drilling costs and if oil or natural gas was found, some of it would be shared with that company.
The minister also said they had focused on two main zones off Antalya and Mersin in the Mediterranean.