Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on August 21 the discovery of a major gas reserve in the Black Sea.
Speaking from the Dolmabahce Palace in Istanbul, Erdogan said the reserve, which includes 320 billion cubic meters of natural gas, was discovered by Turkish drill ship Fatih in the Tuna-1 field in the Black Sea on July 20. Fatih, named after Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II, is one of three drill ships operated by the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO).
“Turkey has made the biggest natural gas discovery in the Black Sea,” the Anadolu Agency quoted Erdogan as saying.
The gas reserve will be called ”Sakarya”. It can allegedly meet Turkey’s gas needs for the previous 20 years.
Erdogan promised that the discovered gas would be put in public use by 2023. A day earlier, Turkish sources had said Ankara might need seven to ten years and up to $3 billion to start production in the Tuna-1 field.
The discovery of a major gas reserve could not be more relevant. Its main gas supplier, Russia’s Gazprom, has set a high price of $ 228 per thousand cubic meters, while it receives only $ 82 for exports to Europe. This was the reason for Turkey’s gradual transition to cheaper alternatives, primarily pipeline gas from Azerbaijan. The opening of a new field allows Ankara to significantly increase its own reserves, while Turkey becomes a key hub for gas from the Eastern and Mediterranean fields to Europe.
Besides Turkish drilling in the Black Sea, the TPAO’s activities continue in Eastern Mediterranean. Ankara’s unilateral activities resulted in a serious crisis with Greece, Egypt and most recently with France.