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Turkey finds 135bcm more natural gas reserves in Black Sea

ANKARA, Turkey: Turkey has found 135 billion cubic metres (bcm) of additional natural gas reserves in the southern Black Sea, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced, raising the total discovery in the region to 540bcm.

Speaking at an opening ceremony in the Black Sea province of Zonguldak on Friday, Erdogan said Turkey had made the additional discovery in the Amasra-1 field, adding he expected further “good news” to come from the region.

Last year, Turkey’s Fatih drill ship discovered 405bcm of natural gas in the western Black Sea region’s Sakarya field, in the country’s biggest discovery.

Currently, the Kanuni drillship is completing exploratory tests at the Turkali-2 well, while the Fatih vessel is drilling in Turkali-3 well, both in the Sakarya field. Gas production from the field is expected to begin in 2023.

In August 2020, Turkey found its first significant gas discovery after finding 320 BCM. Erdogan said the gas will help the country cut its dependence on energy imports once it is commercially extracted.

Turkey’s drilling ship Fatih has been operating since last July in an exploration zone known as Tuna-1, about 100 nautical miles north of the Turkish coast in the western Black Sea.

In October, it discovered another 85 BCM, boosting the total to 405 BCM.

Tuna-1 is in an exploration zone named after the Danube, where it is located at the confluence of the Bulgarian and Romanian maritime borders and the inland waters of Turkey.

Drilling for the reserves will be at approximately 3,500 to 4,000 metres at some 150 to 180 kilometres off the Turkish coast.

In August 2020, Turkey found its first significant gas discovery after finding 320 BCM.

Erdogan said the gas will help the country cut its dependence on energy imports once it is commercially extracted.

Turkey’s drilling ship Fatih has been operating since last July in an exploration zone known as Tuna-1, about 100 nautical miles north of the Turkish coast in the western Black Sea.

In October, it discovered another 85 BCM, boosting the total to 405 BCM.

Tuna-1 is in an exploration zone named after the Danube, where it is located at the confluence of the Bulgarian and Romanian maritime borders and the inland waters of Turkey.

Drilling for the reserves will be at approximately 3,500 to 4,000 metres at some 150 to 180 kilometres off the Turkish coast.

Turkey has ramped up exploration for oil and gas off its coasts in recent years. Erdogan has pitched recent energy finds as a solution to some of Turkey’s long-term economic vulnerabilities, including its energy-import bill that needs to be paid in foreign currency.

Turkish explorers last year found 405 billion cubic meters of gas at the nearby Tuna-1 well in Sakarya field, the biggest ever discovered in the Black Sea.

Turkey currently imports nearly all of the 50 billion cubic meters of gas it consumes annually. Officials expect domestic production to boost the nation’s gas demand by 60%, to as much as 80 billion cubic meters per year by 2030.

Discoveries are also expected to allow Turkey to import cheaper gas and trim the annual average energy bill of around $44 billion.