Turkey’s fourth drill vessel expected to be assigned in the Mediterranean
Turkey’s newly purchased drill vessel Abdulhamid Han is expected to start operating in August, amid tensions with neighboring Greece and Cyprus over hydrocarbon resources.
“Abdulhamid Han’s first assignment will most likely be the Mediterranean Sea,” Energy Minister Fatih Donmez said in southern Tasucu Port, where the vessel is undergoing preparations for future missions, state-run Anadolu news agency reported on Wednesday.
Turkey is at loggerheads with Greece and Cyprus over its hydrocarbon exploration activities in the Eastern Mediterranean. Having overlapping claims to hydrocarbon resources, they express contradictory views of their continental shelves’ extension into the sea.
Abdulhamid Han, named after the Ottoman sultan Abdul Hamid II, became Turkey’s fourth drill vessel, arriving the country in May. Purchased in November, it has joined Turkey’s fleet consisting of the Fatih, Yavuz and Kanuni.
The vessel, previously called “Cobalt Explorer,” is 238-meters long and has a maximum 3,600 meters operational depth, according to an infographic shown by the state-owned Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO).