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Turkey has passed Norway as the largest driller of oil in Europe. According to Bloomberg it fielded 26 drilling rigs at the end of 2012, and the Turkish Energy Ministry says that number has already increased to 34 rigs. Spending on oil and natural gas exploration last year was at $610 million, compared with $42 million a decade earlier.
This rush to find new sources of hydro carbon is fuelled by the rapidly expanding economy. Turkey’s economy is growing at 3.5% a year, around twice as fast as most advanced economies, and second only to China.
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Taner Yildiz, the Turkish Energy Minister, said that the “aim is to make Turkey one of the 10 largest economies in the world by 2023. Finding energy will enable Turkey to achieve its goal.”
According to the US EIA Turkey imported 92 percent of all oil it consumed in 2011, and 98% of all natural gas. Turkey hopes that by investing heavily in domestic exploration and extraction it can reduce imports from Iran, Iraq, and Russia. Turkish Petroleum plans to supply all of the country’s energy needs by 2023.
Currently Turkey’s energy imports are increasing the country’s current account deficit, fuelling inflation, and threatening to restrict economic growth.
By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com