Turkey will supply its own gas by 2023 when the country celebrates its 100th anniversary, country's energy minister said on Friday after Turkish president announced the discovery of major natural gas reserves in the Black Sea.
Fatih Donmez's remarks came after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that some 320 billion cubic meters of natural gas reserves were found on July 20 by the Turkish drillship Fatih off the Black Sea coast, which Erdogan described as the biggest natural gas find in Turkey's history.
“We will continue seismic explorations in an additional area of 6,000 square kilometers,” Donmez said, adding that new wells would be drilled in that area.
Describing the discovery as “a milestone” for Turkey, Donmez said the new natural gas reserve had been discovered at the 9th deep-water drilling. He recalled that in the 1970s, England was only able to discover natural resources on its 150th drill and Norway on its 30th.
Donmez said the discovery came after only 14 months of detailed seismic exploration in a region covering almost 2,000 square kilometers square.
He explained that drilling to depths of 3,500 meters below the sea level was carried out and as more gas reserves are expected, drilling a further 1,000 meters will continue in line with the seismic data obtained.
He revealed that the attribute of the gas, which he deemed important, is of high quality in the newly discovered field that covers around 250 square kilometers.
The discovery of the gas resources in the Black Sea could reduce Turkey’s reliance on energy imports and trigger changes in its gas contracts with Russia, Iran, and Azerbaijan.
The size of the discovery dwarfs all the natural gas by twenty-fold that Turkey has ever produced – 16.6 billion cubic meters.
The Fatih has been exploring at the Tuna-1 well, where the find was made and a part of "Sakarya Gas Field", some 100 nautical miles (185 kilometers) north of the Turkish coast in the western Black Sea.
By Sibel Morrow