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Felicity Bradstock

Felicity Bradstock

Felicity Bradstock is a freelance writer specialising in Energy and Finance. She has a Master’s in International Development from the University of Birmingham, UK.

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Is This Just The First In A Series Of Gas Discoveries For Turkey?

The discovery of oil in three new wells in Turkey will add significantly to the country’s output, following Turkey’s biggest ever gas discovery just last year.

Turkey’s energy sector is going from strength to strength as President Erdo?an announced the discovery of oil in three new onshore wells this May. This is expected to increase the country’s oil output by 6,800 bpd, which is currently averaging over 61,000 bpd

Two wells are located in the south-eastern Diyarbak?r province, named Akoba-1 and Yeni?ehir-1, with the third well, Misinli-2, in the north-western province of K?rklareli. Akoba-1 and Yeni?ehir-1 are expected to produce 2,800 and 3,000 oil respectively, and K?rklareli will produce 1,000 bpd, according to Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Dönmez. 

This follows a major natural gas discovery in October 2020. The drilling ship, Fatih, discovered 405 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas in the Tuna-1 well in the Sakarya gas field, standing around 100 nautical miles off Turkey's Black Sea coast. This represents that country’s largest natural gas discovery to date. 

Gas found in Tuna-1 is expected to be made available to the country as early as 2023. Following this discovery, Turkey plans to continue its Black Sea hydrocarbon explorations. If prediction levels are correct, Tuna-1 output could provide enough gas to meet 30 percent of the country’s needs at its peak production in 2025. 

Turkey is planning to drill as many as 40 production wells in the Sakarya gas field by 2028. However, initial production is expected to be able to commence earlier when around 5 to 6 wells have been drilled. This could decrease the country’s dependence on Russia, Iran, and Azerbaijan for energy imports, reducing Turkey’s import bill which currently stands at around $12 billion.

Energy minister Dönmez, this month, signaled a likely announcement of further gas discoveries in the region stating there was “good news” in relation to Black Sea exploration activities. 

Dönmez communicated, “Let us wait for June for the update. The works will be completed in June”. Going on to say, “It is a field we are hopeful about. New seismic data also confirm our hope ... We do not make statements until we are sure. These are big and important works.”

President Erdo?an backed up this rumor this May, announcing the expectation of new natural gas finds to come soon. “We are getting good news, and with these, do not be surprised if you get news on an oil or natural gas (discovery) soon,”, the president stated. 

It is expected that Turkey will drill more boreholes to aid its gas exploration activities in the eastern Mediterranean. To date, Turkey has completed eight boreholes, which have showed signs of natural gas but not of great enough economic significance.

However, territorial disputes could hinder this project, following a standoff with Greece and Cyprus in 2020. Erdo?an hopes the E.U., which has deepened trade links with Turkey since 2016, will not sanction the state for further exploration in the eastern Mediterranean. This comes as Greece and Cyprus battled with Turkey over energy resources and jurisdiction in the region last August.

The latest oil discovery adds to the country’s energy portfolio, which was boosted last year by Turkey’s largest-ever natural gas discovery, in the Black Sea. However, territorial disputes could lead to Turkey having to choose between positive trade relations with the EU and greater gas discoveries within this region. 

By Felicity Bradstock for Oilprice.com

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