ANKARA, Turkey, July 10 (UPI) -- Turkey is interested in exploring its shale natural gas potential through a possible joint venture with U.S. energy company Exxon Mobil, an official said.
The Turkish national oil and gas company, known by its Turkish initials TPAO, is in talks to form a joint venture with Exxon to explore shale gas. The Platts energy news service said Wednesday it was told by ministry officials in Ankara the work would extend to potential reserves in far western and southeast Turkey.
TPAO and Shell started hydraulic fracturing operations in the Dadas shale basin in southeast Turkey in 2012. Dadas is one of two shale basins in Turkey. Combined with the Thrace basin in western Turkey, the country has an estimated 162 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
Analysis from Turkish daily newspaper Today's Zaman in January said the "only reliable" source of information about the country's shale gas potential comes from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Other sources, the report said, are based on "divergent information."
Turkey is working to position itself as a regional energy hub. Several countries have tried to replicate U.S. success with shale reserves, but high costs and geological complexities have complicated those efforts.