Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Dönmez said in a tweet Thursday that the drillship Kanuni is due in Istanbul before it embarks on its journey to the Black Sea for the exploration of natural resources.
“The Kanuni era in our seas is starting. Kanuni will set sail from the Taşucu port (in southern Mersin province) on Oct. 10 for preparations at Haydarpaşa Port,” he said in the tweet.
The Kanuni will set sail from Mersin and travel to the historical Haydarpaşa Port on Istanbul’s Asian side.
Prior to Turkey’s procurement, the drillship had been sitting idle at a Welsh port town for nearly two years. It has an estimated market value of $120 million (TL 925.4 million). Turkey reportedly bought the drillship for nearly $40 million.
The sixth-generation ultra drillship was built by South Korea's Samsung Heavy Industries and used by Brazil's Petrobras between 2012 and 2015.
The Kanuni is 227 meters (744 feet) long, 42 meters wide and has a draft of 12 meters. Its equipment can reach up to 11,400 meters below sea level and drill to a depth of 3,000 meters below the seabed.
The name Kanuni, which means the "lawgiver" in Turkish, stems from Suleiman I, also known as Suleiman the Magnificent. He was one of the greatest leaders of the Ottoman Empire and was its 10th and longest-reigning sultan, ruling from 1520 until his death in 1566.
The Kanuni is Turkey's third drilling ship.
In August, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced that the country's drillship Fatih found some 320 billion cubic meters (11.3 trillion cubic feet) of natural gas in the Black Sea.
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