Turkey, Shell Sign Contract for Oil and Gas Exploration

The move comes after the government of Cyprus struck a deal with offshore drilling contractor Noble Corp. for gas exploration off the southern coast of the divided island.

Turkey's state-owned Petroleum Corp. signed a contract with Shell on Wednesday for oil and gas exploration onshore and in the Mediterranean Sea.

The move comes after the government of Cyprus, which is not recognized by Ankara, struck a deal with offshore drilling contractor Noble Corp. for gas exploration off the southern coast of the divided island.

The agreement includes research off the Mediterranean province of Antalya.

"This signature is the result of technical work, which has nothing to do with international speculation," Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said at the signing ceremony.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011

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