ANKARA (Commodity Online) : Turkey on Saturday said its efforts to find oil in the Black Sea for commercial purposes have failed.

Accoriding to country's Energy Minister Taner Yildiz, official declaration about the drilling operations would be made next week.

Turkey's national state-owned oil company, Tpao, launched drilling, in coordination with the American Exxon Mobil, last year, in the under the sea waters off Trabzon.

Yildiz said 16 wells were drilled but no commercial amounts of crude were found, contradictory to preliminary geological surveys that projected the under-sea crude reserves at 10 billion barrels.

Some experts have cast doubts on such predictions, citing the difficult geological nature of the region.

The minister indicated that the drilling operations would continue in the region for some time in hope of locating the black gold. Turkey imports 90 percent of its needs of oil and gas. Last year, these imports cost Ankara about USD 40 billion.