Turkish gas find to help raise output to 25 percent of EU capacity: Minister

Turkish gas find to help raise output to 25 percent of EU capacity: Minister

Turkish gas find to help raise output to 25 percent of EU capacity: Minister

A recently discovered natural gas field in the Black Sea is set to provide nearly a third of Turkey’s domestic needs when it reaches peak production capacity by 2027, Energy Minister Fatih Dönmez has told Bloomberg.

Turkey may be able to start with an initial annual production capacity of 3.5 billion cubic meters of gas in 2023, Dönmez said in the interview published on Sept. 27.

The aim would be to increase that to about 15 billion cubic meters annually within four years of first production, roughly one-quarter of the European Union’s output today.

State-run energy company Türkiye Petrolleri AO (TPAO) plans to drill 40 wells over four phases in the Sakarya field, which is estimated to have recoverable gas reserves of about 540 billion cubic meters. 

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has touted the find - the biggest ever in the Black Sea - as a boost to Turkey’s $765-billion economy. 

The government has no plans to invite international oil companies to operate fields because TPAO has the technical capacity to do it on its own, Dönmez said. 

Turkey is conducting seismic studies before it starts drilling another exploratory well in a prospective area to the west of the Sakarya field during the first half of next year, he added. 

TPAO will be targeting a similar geological formation that was found some 4,500 meters beneath the seabed in the original discovery.

Turkey aims to cut its annual energy bill of around $44 billion by reducing its reliance on imports, which currently account for nearly all of the country’s gas consumption. Domestic gas demand is expected surge by a quarter to reach 60 billion cubic meters this year, due to lower hydropower production amid dry weather and rising coal prices, Dönmez said.

The desired plateau production from Sakarya amounts to just over 31 percent of last year’s gas demand. But increased domestic output could push Turkey’s annual consumption to as much as 80 billion cubic meters by 2030.

Turkey imports around 45 billion cubic meters of natural per year paying approximately $12 billion to pipeline exporters Russia, Azerbaijan and İran, as well as LNG suppliers including Qatar, Nigeria, Algeria and the United States.