Turkiye Petrolleri Anonim Ortakligi has started exploration drilling in the Bati Ayazli-1 prospect in the Black Sea offshore Turkey.

The Bati Ayazli-1 well, operated by Turkey’s national oil company, is situated west of the Ayazli gas field and began using Grup Servicii Petroliere’s Saturn rig.

The well is targeting the reservoir level found at the Ayazli field and is also aiming for a deeper exploration objective, according to stakeholder Stratic Energy.

Drilling operations to total depth are expected to take about 49 days.

Stratic chief operating officer Mark Bilsland said that the exploration well would be developed to test two stratigraphically separate levels.

“The deeper stratigraphic target has not been tested before in this area and the results will aid our understanding of the deeper potential in this area,” Bilsland said

“The shallower target, if successful, will provide incremental gas production and will be tied back to the existing Ayazli field facility.”

Stratic Energy holds a 12.25% stake in the well.