RPT- Turkey's shale gas hopes draw growing interest
The government is hoping that major shale gas †reserves lie in basins in its southeast, east and western Thrace regions and officials say several firms, including smaller players already looking for conventional oil and gas , are keen to explore.
With domestic gas †consumption rising and its geographic location meaning it is also well-placed to supply international markets, major exploitable reserves could be a game changer for Turkey's economy and highly lucrative for whoever finds them.
"We are keen to exploit this method and we must make economic use of shale gas ," Energy Minister Taner Yildiz told Reuters, saying it would be a priority for the near future.
Shell is drilling for shale gas †in the region around the southeastern city of Diyarbakir, while Canadian firm TransAtlantic Petroleum is also active in the region.
"Companies from the UK, U.S. and Canada are keen on shale gas †production in Turkey," said one senior energy ministry official, declining to be named because talks with potential partners were ongoing.
"These firms are in close contact with Turkish companies to obtain licences and to collaborate with them. They are also talking to state firms and are drawing up projections on possible sites and what can be done in the near future."
At least one foreign company was expected to sign an agreement for shale
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