ExxonMobil is in talks with state-owned Turkish Petroleum (TPAO) over the possible exploration for shale gas in Turkey, according to a report.
The US supermajor could be interested in looking for the resource in the country’s south-east and north-west regions, Reuters reported, citing a Turkish government official.
Selami Incedali, the head of the Energy Ministry’s General Directorate of Petroleum Affairs, also told the news wire that US, European and Canadian companies are interested in Turkey’s shale gas industry.
TPAO – which has operations in Libya, Iraq, Azerbaijan, Colombia and Kazakhstan – needs to boost domestic output as it pursues a target of supplying all of Turkey’s energy needs by 2023.
Upstream reported at the World Petroleum Congress in Moscow last week that TPAO is pursuing acquisitions globally, but will look most closely in central Asia and central Africa.
TPAO has a mandate from the government to boost production to meet growing energy demand in Turkey, which is paying around $50 billion per year to import energy — relying on imports for 98% of its natural gas and 90% of its oil.
“We need to meet our energy demand or a very important portion of our energy demand,” chief executive Besim Sisman said.
Last month, it picked up an additional 10% stake in the Shah Deniz gas project, making it the second-largest shareholder with 19%, behind operator BP.