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Nov 21

Offshore Drilling and Turkey

As given in Shell’s article called ‘World Energy Model: A View to 2100’, which published in 2016, and still can be seen in statistical breakdowns per year since 2016, usage of the fossil fuel for global energy consumption is around 80 percent in the world. We can think that in a situation of world like this in energy consumption, petroleum and natural gas industries play a huge role for turning the wheels of the World and countries around the globe. For a while, countries used onshore type of industrial plants for searching, refining, and transporting oil and gas. However, by the time goes, demand for fossil fuels went up around the world and other than that, low rewarding of onshore searches for fuel started increases on prices first, and then, these economic expensiveness created conflicts between countries for possession and operating for known fuel-rich places. Moreover, countries started to see the fulfilling these needs from other countries as expensive way to attaining the energy. With that, countries started to use another way to get their needs of energy: At the seas.

Offshore drilling was a known and tried way to reaching petroleum or gas from beneath the seabed. It started to searching and building wells inside of lakes in the end of 19th century to where it is today: Drilling platforms off to coasts and even deep hubs off the Ocean like North Sea, Gulf of Mexico et cetera. Although it is a high-risk kind of an reaching to energy which is having catastrophic examples like Deepwater Horizon spill in 2010, higher rewards for countries like being independent in energy usage pushed them to this type of search of fossil fuels.

As in our topic, Turkey is an import-dependant country, in order to achieve to reach to its needs of fuel energy as more than 70 percent of the energy used in Turkey is imported from other countries. Turkey’s annual import of energy is around 40 billion dollars in average which is a huge number. For decreasing these numbers, searches onshore and offshore are vital for the country. For staying in our topic, we will look to offshore drilling operations in Turkey.

Founded in 1954 with the tasks of searching hydrocarbons, production, refining and marketing of the energy products like petroleum, TPAO (abbreviation of Türkiye Petrolleri Anonim Ortaklığı, which translates as Turkish Petroleum Corporation), operates searching activities on behalf of the public. These searching activities are

Well excavation

2D seismic data collecting

3D seismic data collecting

Deep water drilling

Even though deep-water drilling operations started with using foreign platforms like Leiv Eiriksson in 2010, by buying method, there are currently three drillships and two seismic research vessels in control of TPAO and TPIC (Turkish Petroleum International Company). Recently, also a plarform joined to this search group.

Fatih (Drillship)

Named after the Ottoman Emperor Mehmet II the Conqueror (Fatih Sultan Mehmet), built in South Korea in 2011 with previous name of Deepsea Metro II, purchased in 2017 and joined to the inventory of TPAO as the first drillship of Turkey.

Fatih is a sixth-generation deep-water drillship has a length of 229,2 meters, a beam of 36 meters and a draught of 16,1 meters. She has a service speed of 13,3 km/h (7,2 knots) with maximum speed of 15,9 km/h (8,6 knots). Fatih is assessed at 51283 gross ton and 34256 deadweight tonnes. Classed as ultra-deep-water drillship, Fatih can carry out drill at sea depth up to 8000 ft (2400 m) and maximum drill depth of 40000 ft (12000 m). This drillship also has a positioning system which helps it being steady against waves with length of 6 meters. After its arrival to Turkey, Fatih equipped with a managed pressure drilling system in 2018.

Fatih’s operations are at Tuna-1 well, which is located in offshore of Zonguldak, Black Sea since July 2020. There are reports that this drillship found a total source of natural gas around 405 km3 in 2020. 

Yavuz (Drillship)

With the previous name of Deepsea Metro I, named after Ottoman Emperor Selim I the Resolute (Yavuz Sultan Selim), also built in South Korea in 2011. Purchased in 2018 by TPAO and arrived in Marmara Sea in 2019 for maintenance and renovations.

Yavuz is classed as ultra-deep-water drillship with a length of 229,2 meters, a beam of 36 meters and a draft of 14,7 meters. Yavuz’s tonnages are 51283 GT and 38000 DWT. This drillship has a service speed of 8,3 km/h (4,5 knots) with a maximum speed of 15,9 km/h (8,6 knots). She can execute its drilling missions at a sea depth up to 10000 ft (3000 m).

Yavuz is currently in a mission at Lefkoşa-1 well, which is located in Eastern Mediterranean Sea.

Kanuni (Drillship)

The third and for now the latest of the drillships, Kanuni, which is named after Ottoman Emperor Süleyman I the Magnificent (In Turkey known as Kanuni -Lawgiver in English- Sultan Süleyman) with her previous name as Sertão, built in South Korea in 2012. Acquired by TPAO in January 2020 and arrived in Turkey in March 2020.

Kanuni is also classed as sixth-generation ultra-deep-water drillship which has a length of 227,8 meters, a beam of 42 meters and a draft of 14,5 meters. Her tonnages are 60316 GT and 61619 DWT. Kanuni has a service speed of 12,8 km/h (6,9 knots) with a maximum speed of 15 km/h (8,1 knots). Kanuni can fulfil to drill at a sea depth of 9800 ft (around 3000 m) and maximum drill depth of 37400 ft (11400 m).  

Kanuni has recently moved from Istanbul to Filyos which is at around of the offshore of Zonguldak on 14th of November.

RV Barbaros Hayrettin Paşa (Seismic Research Vessel)

RV Barbaros Hayreddin Paşa, which previously named as Polarcus Samus, is a Turkish seismographic research vessel which is named after Barbaros Hayreddin Pasha, Ottoman admiral. Built in Dubai in 2011. Purchased by TPAO in 2012. After its renovations and maintenance control in Desan Shipyard in Istanbul, be ready to use in 2013.

This vessel is an Arctic-ready with an ICE-1A class notation and environment-friendly high-tech vessel. The vessel also consists of most technologically advanced seismic and navigation systems of her times available. She also obtains 2D and 3D data. The ship has also a helideck for use with a Sikorsky S-92 helicopter on board.

The vessel has a length of 84.2 meters, a beam of 17 meters and a draft of 6.7 meters. Assessed at 4,711 GT and 1,414 NRT (Net Registered Tonnage), she has a maximum speed of 31 km/h (17 knots).

Barbaros Hayreddin Paşa is currently in a research mission in Mediterranean Sea.

RV Oruç Reis (Seismic Research Vessel)

RV Oruç Reis is a Turkish seismographic research vessel. Built in Turkey in 2015, after completion of tests and acceptance activities in 2017, this vessel commissioned to explore petroleum in the Mediterranean Sea and still is continuing to her mission with several stops in her works due to the controversy in the Mediterranean between Turkey and Greece.

Technically, Oruç Reis is capable of performing geophysical survey and 3D sampling at the seabed in a depth up to 20,000 m (66,000 ft).

She has a length of 87 meters, a beam of 23 meters and a draft of 6 meters. Oruç Reis has a gross tonnage of 4575 tonnes. This vessel also has a maximum service speed of 31 km/h (17 knots).

Anadolu 01 (Platform)

Turkeys first Jackup rig Anadolu-01, previously named as Trident XIV, is a platform built-in 1982. 

Her gross tonnage is 6561 tonnes. Anadolu 01 has a length of 64.64 m and a beam of 64.01 m. After notified for termination her earlier mission by Shelf Drilling. ANADOLU-01 in Turkish waters and getting ready for Kuzey Marmara Underground Gas Storage Expansion Project.