Turkey starts drilling its gas field in the Black Sea

Turkey starts drilling its gas field in the Black Sea

The Turkish drilling vessel Kanuni has entered the Black Sea and will start drilling the discovered gas field together with another one. Ankara has declared reserves of 405 billion cubic meters, which will provide the country for decades. It is fundamental for Ankara to start production by 2023 when Turkey will celebrate the centenary of the Republic.

The Kanuni rig has set sail for the Black Sea port of Filos and will join Fatihu early next year to drill new wells in the Sakarya field, the Turkish Ministry of Energy said, citing its head, Fatiha Donmez.

The ship is now in the process of installing a drilling tower, which had to be partially removed for the Kanuni passage under bridges in the Bosporus Strait. “The ship will be ready for new operations after the installation of the tower, navigation tests, and collection of drilling equipment,” Fatih Donmez said.

The Fatih, meanwhile, has already entered the Turkish Black Sea Economic Zone to drill a new well. It will build the Türkali-1 well in the Sakarya field. The work will take two and a half months, the Turkish Energy Minister said.

Earlier, the Turkish Energy Minister said 30-40 wells are planned to be drilled to develop the field. “This is the plan for 7-8 years. But the first production will begin by 2023,” the minister said. According to the boldest predictions, the initial production may reach 5-10 billion cubic meters per year, and the peak production – 15 billion.

Recall that in August the President of Turkey announced the discovery of the country’s first major gas field in the Black Sea. Its reserves are now estimated at 405 billion cubic meters of gas, although only one well has been drilled. Turkey’s Energy Minister said these reserves will last the country for more than 20 years.

In 2019, Turkey used 45 billion cubic meters of gas and 99% of it was imported fuel. Fatih Donmez said that in the next five to six years, contracts for the supply of 24 billion cubic meters will be completed, and Ankara has already stopped negotiations on the extension of agreements to assess the possibility of its own production.

The main gas suppliers to Turkey are Russia, Iran, and Azerbaijan. And last year Gazprom experienced a drop in its exports. In 2019 the supplies decreased by 40 percent, and in the first six months – by another 41 percent. On the one hand, spot gas in the form of LNG was cheaper than under long-term contracts. On the other hand, experts noted, in this way Ankara could try to put pressure on Moscow on gas prices and because of disagreements over Syria and Libya.

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