Norway’s Statoil on Monday said it has entered a binding letter agreement into two exploration licenses in the Thrace region in the European north-western part of Turkey.
The Canadian company, Valeura Energy, as operator, will hold a 50 percent interest in the Banarli licences while the remaining 50 percent will be owned by Statoil.
However, Statoil added in its statement that the shallow formations above 2,500 meters will be 100 percent retained by Valeura.
The work programme in the licences will be carried out over several phases with spudding of the phase one well planned for late 2016 or early 2017. The exploration phase will test unconventional gas potential in the deep parts of the basin, Statoil said.
The exploration licenses cover an area of approximately 540 km2 in proximity to existing infrastructure in a region where gas has been produced since the 1920s.
The agreement is pending governmental approval, which is expected by the end of September 2016.