Turkey’s state-owned Türkiye Petrolleri Anonim Ortaklığı (TPAO) is seeking a permit to explore potential crude oil resources in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Turkey Energy Ministry was reported by the Official Gazette as saying that TPAO has submitted an application for a licence to undertake exploration in three oil fields in the territorial waters off the coast of Silifke in Mersin province.

Last week, Turkey President Tayyip Erdogan said the country plans to undertake oil and gas exploration work in the disputed eastern Mediterranean.

Erdoğan said the country had been receiving ‘signals of natural gas’ in the region and as a result, the government has committed to defending its rights in the region.

Erdoğan was cited by the news agency as saying: “Whatever our rights are, we will take them one way or another and we will carry out our oil exploration operations in the Eastern Mediterranean, Cyprus, and all those seas.”

However, the move is believed to revive Turkey’s tensions with Greece pertaining to oil and gas resources in the region.

Last month, reports emerged that the Turkish national oil and gas company made an additional natural gas discovery in the Black Sea, following the drilling of the Amasra-1 well.

The well is located close to the Tuna-1 well, where TPAO announced the largest gas find in the Black Sea region in 2020.

In late May 2021, Turkey Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Dönmez said the country has plans to drill more boreholes to explore potential gas in the Eastern Mediterranean where it had already opened eight boreholes.

Dönmez was reported by Daily Sabah as saying: “Our experts are checking data after each drill with the seismic data obtained previously. We could have several more drills close to the ones (boreholes) where we see signs of gas.

“Time will tell, but we are hopeful. We evaluate that there is a potential.”