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Canadian energy firm to develop major oil field in Turkey’s Kurdish southeast

A Canadian firm will help Turkey develop its new oil field in Sirnak province.
pumpjacks in Syria

Trillion Energy, an oil and gas producer based in Calgary, Canada, announced this week that it had entered a “farm-in agreement” with a Turkish company. Trillion made the deal for a 50% working and revenue interest in three oil exploration blocks located in the mountainous Cudi Gabar region of the Kurdish-majority southeast of Turkey, where a conflict between Turkish security forces and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) has raged for decades. A farm-in agreement typically involves a partial sell-down in ownership of a project in exchange for exploration funding.

Trillion said Cudi Gabar was “central to an active petroleum system extending up from Iraq and Syria where [Turkey’s] portion contains several major oil fields including Sehit Esma Cevik, discovered in 2022 and Sehit Aybuke Yalcin, discovered in 2023."

The discovery in May of some 1 billion barrels of oil in the latter field in Sirnak province that borders energy-rich Iraq was trumpeted by the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as the largest-ever onshore oil find that could potentially transform Turkey’s neglected Kurdish-majority region into an economic powerhouse.

Coming days before landmark parliamentary and presidential elections that were mistakenly judged by pollsters to favor the opposition, the announcement raised eyebrows, with critics calling it an electioneering ploy aimed at drawing votes.

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