Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said estimated reserves in a gas field on the Black Sea coast have reached 405 billion cubic meters.
Turkey increased estimated reserves in a gas field on the Black Sea coast to 405 billion cubic meters after finding an additional 85 billion cubic meters, said President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Erdogan said in August that the field contained 320 billion cubic meters of gas, making it Turkey’s largest natural gas discovery.
The drill ship Fatih made the discovery about 100 nautical miles north of the Turkish coast.
Even before Saturday’s review, analysts said the discovery represents a major discovery and was one of the biggest global discoveries in 2020.
“Work on this well was completed after reaching a depth of 4,775 meters, as previously planned,” said Erdogan, speaking aboard Fatih on Saturday.
He said the ship will start new operations at a different well in the same field, called Sakarya, next month, after returning to port for maintenance. Another ship, called Kanuni, is also going to the Black Sea for drilling operations, he said.
If the gas can be extracted commercially, the discovery could transform Turkey’s dependence on Russia, Iran and Azerbaijan for energy imports. Last year’s imports totaled more than $ 41 billion.
Analysts recommended caution about the importance of the discovery, pointing out that offshore drilling is expensive and takes time.
Turkey expects the first gas flow from the field in 2023. A source close to the matter said an annual gas flow of 15 billion cubic meters is expected in 2025.
Ankara expects gas suppliers to offer more competitive prices and flexibility if they want to renew long-term contracts, totaling 16 billion cubic meters a year.
More than a quarter of Turkey’s long-term gas contracts expire next year, including imports via the Russian Gazprom and SOCAR Azerbaijan pipeline and a liquefied natural gas (LNG) agreement with Nigeria.
Turkey has also been exploiting hydrocarbons in the Mediterranean, where its research operations in disputed waters have sparked protests in Greece and Cyprus.
Greece and Cyprus pushed for a tougher response to Turkey’s exploration of natural gas in waters contested at a European Union summit on Friday, but were told to wait until a meeting in December.
This week, Turkey redirected its research ship, Oruc Reis, to disputed waters in an area between the Greek islands, Cyprus and the southern coast of Turkey.
Turkey pulled the ship ashore last month for maintenance and refueling, saying the move would give diplomacy a chance.
EU leaders meeting in Brussels on Friday unanimously condemned the decision as “provocative” and urged Ankara to reverse the action.
But Erdogan promised to move forward with energy exploration.
“We will continue our search for hydrocarbon resources in the Black Sea and the Mediterranean,” said Erdogan.
He added that the EU became “captive” to Greece and Greek Cypriots in the dispute over natural resources in the eastern Mediterranean, which hurt the bloc.
“If the EU does not have an impartial position in the disputes existing in the Eastern Mediterranean, this situation will be the official declaration of the end of the European Union,” he said.