Türkiye secured gas supply ahead of winter as the country completely filled its two underground natural gas storages with a total capacity of 5.8 billion cubic meters (bcm).
The country is strengthening its natural gas infrastructure with strategic steps taken towards the target of a total natural gas storage capacity of 10 bcm.
Natural gas storage facilities stand out as strategic infrastructure facilities in securing gas supply for Türkiye, highly dependent on energy imports. The country also wants to secure the highest volumes of stored gas in these facilities, especially before winter when natural gas consumption increases.
Türkiye has two underground gas storage facilities, operated by the Turkish Petroleum Pipeline Corporation (BOTAS).
As operations at the facilities have intensified ahead of winter, Anadolu Agency viewed the works at the Silivri Natural Gas Storage Facility located in Istanbul and Tuz Golu Natural Gas Storage Facility in the Central Anatolian province of Aksaray.
- Türkiye's first and largest underground gas storage
Silivri Natural Gas Storage Facility, the country's first gas storage facility, started operations in 2007.
The facility, which consists of two parts: the Degirmenkoy reservoir and the undersea reservoir in Northern Marmara, became Europe's largest storage facility under the sea, with additional capacity upgrades.
'Silivri Natural Gas Storage Facility is currently Türkiye's largest natural gas storage facility,' Erkan Akbas, the operating manager at the facility, said.
According to Akbas, the facility's storage capacity reached 4.6 bcm from 3.2 bcm, with the capacity expansion project which was completed last year.
'Daily withdrawal capacity also reached 75 million cubic meters (mcm) from 28 mcm,' Akbas said.
'We drilled a total of 18 wells on 2 offshore platforms within the scope of the capacity expansion project. The number of wells in the Northern Marmara field increased from 6 to 24. The biggest factors in the increased storage and daily withdrawal capacities were the rise in the number of these wells,' he explained.
Akbas said the gas stored in reservoirs is ready for production.
'Currently, our reservoirs are 100% full and ready for winter. We have stored around 10% of Türkiye's annual gas consumption. While in terms of daily withdrawal capacity, we will be able to produce about 20% of Türkiye's consumption during the peak period.'
- Türkiye's underground gas storage in salt caverns
Tuz Golu Underground Natural Gas Storage Facility, located in the Sultanhani district in the province of Aksaray, 40 kilometers from Salt Lake, was put into service in 2017.
The facility, which is currently storing 1.2 bcm of gas, will reach 5.4 bcm capacity as the completion of the ongoing capacity expansion project and become the world's largest natural gas storage facility in salt structures.
Natural gas at the facility is stored in artificial caverns created with dissolving salt layers with fresh water at a depth of around 1,500 meters, İbrahim Kaymaz, the operations manager at the facility, said.
According to Kaymaz, the salt water, obtained by the dissolving process, is discharged to the Salt Lake through a 40-kilometer pipeline at the same density.
'This creates a habitat for flamingos in the Salt Lake. We can observe that there has been a significant increase in the number of flamingos,' he explained.
'The facility currently has a daily withdrawal capacity of 40 mcm. As the withdrawal capacity will reach 80 mcm with the expansion project, during peak times we will meet 25% of Türkiye's daily gas needs,' Kaymaz said.
Expressing that the storage facilities ensure uninterrupted use of natural gas for consumers, Kaymaz added 'the facility will enter the winter period with a 100% occupancy rate.'
By Firdevs Yuksel and Gokce Topbas