Turkey will be able to decrease current account deficit by 5 billion Turkish Liras (TL) owing to the natural gas production from new fields, Turkey's energy and natural resources minister Fatih Donmez said on Monday.
Turkey has limited domestic energy resources and mainly depends on expensive energy imports for its consumption, which constitutes the biggest share of the current account deficit. The country strives to discover new oil and natural gas sources, and also heavily invests in renewable energy and domestic coal.
During the flare lighting ceremony of new natural gas wells in Silivri district of İstanbul province, Donmez said that Turkey's efforts at drilling activities in on- and off-shore fields will continue in order to increase domestic production capabilities.
The minister officially started the production in Bati Celtik-1 and Bati Degirmenkoy 4-5 natural gas fields in Istanbul, which is owned by Turkey's oil company Turkish Petroleum's (TPAO).
Donmez said that the natural gas reserve of the fields reaches up to 3 billion cubic meters (bcm).
New wells have an annual production capacity of 300 million cubic meters, and the production is enough to meet the consumption of 300,000 households for ten years, he added.
"We will not give up searching for natural resources, and will serve them to our nation," he said.
- More drilling activities in 2019
Minister Donmez said that last year TPAO drilled 73 wells and up to Feb. 6, the company's oil production reached 136,000 barrels per day.
"In 2019, the target is to drill 139 wells in Turkey," he said.
Both state and private companies are working for exploration and production, and they are developing their know-how skills in order to reach for a commercially viable level, he added.
Reporting by Nuran Erkul Kaya
Writing by Gulsen Cagatay