Energy minister voices hope for new gas discoveries in Black Sea

Energy minister voices hope for new gas discoveries in Black Sea

ANKARA-Anadolu Agency
Energy minister voices hope for new gas discoveries in Black Sea

Turkey's energy and natural resources minister said on Aug. 27 that more "good news" may come in two months in the Black Sea, referring to potential new discoveries of natural gas reserves.

"It is highly probable that we will make new discoveries in the layers below the area of discovery. Their depth and length are similar. New good news may come in two months,” Minister Fatih Dönmez told private broadcaster CNN Türk.

Reminding that Turkey began its seismic research activities 14 months ago, Dönmez said the start of production and use of natural gas from the wells drilled in the Black Sea will reach 2023.

He said work has been conducted only in a quarter of the 8,000 square kilometer (3,088 square mile) area of the TUNA-1 well, adding that discoveries may occur in similar structures.

The Kanuni drilling vessel will be in the Black Sea until the end of the year, he said, noting that the vessel is scheduled to drill nearly 40 wells at that point.

"If potential is seen, two drill ships will not be enough," he said.

Dönmez underlined that seismic data is being evaluated both in the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.

Emphasizing that drilling activities will continue in the potential regions in the Eastern Mediterranean, Dönmez said Turkey has the chance to find both oil and natural gas.

"The natural gas research was mainly conducted in the [Eastern] Mediterranean. There are points in the same field where oil and natural gas are produced. Our expectation looks like [discovering] gas, but this will become clear according to the drilling to be made."

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday announced the discovery of 320 billion cubic meters of natural gas reserves in the Black Sea, near the Turkish coast.

The discovery in the TUNA-1 well at the Sakarya Gas Field, which is around 170 kilometers offshore in the Black Sea, is the result of Turkey's insistent efforts for finding domestic hydrocarbon resources.

The Fatih drill ship, which began drilling in the area on July 20, 2020, discovered the well after a month of drilling.