Turkey's first drillship, Fatih, will begin a new drilling mission at the Turkali-2 well in the Black Sea next month at the latest, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Donmez said Monday.
"Engineering studies are ongoing to bring the gas ashore after production starts. We hope to connect the gas discovered in the Sakarya gas field to Turkey's transmission system at Filyos by 2023," Donmez disclosed in a televised interview with Bloomberg HT.
On Sunday, he announced via Twitter that the drillship reached its new location in the Black Sea at the Turkali-2 drilling well.
The new mission announcement comes after Turkey finalized drilling operations at the Turkali-1 well in the Sakarya gas field after 77 days on Jan. 18.
The drilling activities followed on from the announcement on Aug. 21 last year of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of the "biggest gas discovery” in Turkey’s history of 320 billion cubic meters (bcm) at the Tuna-1 gas field also located in the Sakarya gas field.
On Oct. 17 last year, Turkey discovered an additional 85 bcm of natural gas reserves in the Black Sea.
- Eastern Mediterranean
Donmez recalled that Turkey has conducted eight drillings over two years in the Eastern Mediterranean, and despite some indications of a gas find, no announcement of definitive results has yet been forthcoming.
The next mission of the Yavuz drilling vessel, currently located in the Tasucu port in Turkey's coastal city of Mersin, will be decided following the conclusion of seismic research.
Donmez’s statement on the country’s seismic and drilling activities on its continental shelf in compliance with international law came before a new round of exploratory talks between Turkey and Greece on issues surrounding the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean region on Monday.
He expressed his hope that President Erdogan's call for an international conference between countries with coastlines on the Eastern Mediterranean would be positively received to start negotiations.
By Ebru Sengul Cevrioglu