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Petoil was established in 1990 as a member company of Pet Holding.


Petoil started its petroleum operations in 1990, with two exploration licenses in South East Turkey. Re-entry to an existing well proved the licenses to be uncommercial and they were then relinquished. Between 2004 and 2009, nine exploration licenses; two in South East Turkey and 7 in Black Sea offshore, were again assigned to Petoil. These licenses were relinquished following geological studies that indicated the licenses to be uncommercial.


Petoil studied several exploration blocks in the North Caspian Basin in 1992. Considering the size of the projects, Petoil sought joint venture possibilities with TPAO. Seven exploration blocks were granted to Kazakhturkmunay Joint Company, established with the participation of the Ministry of Geology of the Kazakhstan Republic. However, due to differences in the exploration program strategy of the majority shareholder TPAO caused Petoil to assign its interest in the project to TPAO and withdraw from the joint venture. Petoil further acquired the development rights of Karakuduk field in 1993 and formed a joint venture named Karakudukmunay JV with its Kazakh counterpart. Later, Petoil sold its interest in the JV to Chaparral Resources and in return, acquired a certain number of shares in the said company. During this period, Petoil provided workover services to oil companies in Kazakhstan.


Petoil is the first western oil company to enter into Azerbaijan. Through the AzerPetoil Joint Venture established in 1992 with the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR),  Petoil rehabilitated and operated Mishovdag and Kelameddin oil fields comprising a total of 400 wells, employing more than 900 employees. This Joint Venture was restructured in 2000 as a Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) regime with the participation of Moncrief Oil International, a US company. In early 2003, Petoil assigned its participating interest in the PSA to Nations Energy, a Canadian company, and withdrew from the project.

Petoil is the first oil company to enter Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Petoil negotiated and, in January 2003, signed a PSA with the regional authorities of Kurdistan Region of Iraq, covering a large area, which was subsequently reduced to the current Shakal Block. Two new and one re-entry wells were drilled in Pulkhana and 2D seismic was gathered in Shakal. In March 2006, Petoil's wholly owned subsidiary A&T Petroleum Co. Ltd. was granted another PSA covering Bina Bawi (23%) surface anticline in the same region and was appointed the operator of the project. In 2011, operatorship of Bina Bawi was transferred to another partner in the project. Petoil signed Production Sharing Contracts for Chia Surkh field in June 2009 (20%) and Pulkhana field in August 2009 (20%). Interests in Bina Bawi and Pulkhana Blocks were subsequently sold or relinquished. 
Production from the Chia Surkh oil field, where Petoil is the Operator and majority share holder, currently forms the main activity of Petoil.


In 2004, Petoil acquired exclusive negotiation rights for two exploration blocks, Block 39 and Block 3, in the Republic of Yemen. Following technical studies, Block 39 was relinquished, mainly due to the lack of infrastructure in the area and the high exploration risk involved. Petoil acquired an 34% interest in Jardan Block 3. The PSA covering an area of 2950 km2 was signed in 2005. Upon the completion of seismic studies, Tubb'a-1 well was drilled in 2009 and discovered gas and condensate in the primary target, the fractured basement. Petoil sold its rights to OMV in 2011.



Petoil is the first Turkish company to invest in the unconventional oil activity in the United States. Petoil has acquired Falls City brown oil field in Texas, United States. As investor, Petoil drilled a horizontal well into a rock formation where unconventional production techniques had not been tried previously. After a 30-stage fracking operation in the well with 1600 m horizontal section, oil production was achieved. However, due to lower than expected rates and very low oil prices prevailing at the time, the project was abandoned.