Turkish Petroleum seeking exploration permit in Libya, likely to stoke tensions

Turkish drilling vessel Yavuz sets sail in Izmit Bay, on its way to the Mediterranean Sea, off the port of Dilovasi, Turkey. (Reuters)

Turkish Petroleum (TPAO) has applied to Libya for an exploration permit in the eastern Mediterranean, Turkey's Anadolu Agency reported onThursday.

Exploration will begin as soon as the process is completed. Turkish Energy Minister Fatih Donmez was quoted as saying.

He made the comments during a summit on Wednesday, Anadolu reported.

The move could further stoke tensions in the region, where Turkey has been at odds for years with Greece and Cyprus, as well as with other regional powers over ownership of natural resources.

Libya’s internationally recognized Government of National Accord signed an agreement with Turkey in November 2019 that seeks to create an exclusive economic zone from Turkey’s southern Mediterranean coast to Libya's northeast coast.

Greece, Cyprus and others have opposed the accord and call it illegal, an accusation Turkey has rejected. The EU also opposes the maritime deal.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 10:02 - GMT 07:02