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Tsvetana Paraskova

Tsvetana Paraskova

Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews. 

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Turkey Bets On Black Sea Gas To Slash Import Dependence

  • Turkey announced on Monday a new natural gas discovery in the Black Sea.
  • Erdogan: Turkey’s natural gas reserves in the Black Sea have now increased to 710 billion cubic meters.
  • Earlier this year, Erdogan and Russia’s Vladimir Putin agreed to set up a natural gas hub in Turkey.
Turkey Exploration

Turkey announced on Monday a new natural gas discovery in the Black Sea and upgraded estimates for an already discovered field in the basin, in what could be a major step for the country in slashing gas imports and diversifying its energy sources.   Turkey’s natural gas reserves in the Black Sea have now increased to 710 billion cubic meters (bcm), Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday.

The country upgraded the resource estimate of a previously discovered gas field and announced a new discovery in its Black Sea waters.  

The already discovered Sakarya field saw its reserves upgraded, while a new discovery at Caycuma-1 further boosts Turkey’s estimates of gas in place that could replace much of its imports, on which the country is heavily dependent. 

“As a result of the analysis of the data, we have revised the previously declared 540 billion cubic-metre reserve to 652 billion cubic metres,” Erdogan was quoted as saying by Reuters

“With our new discovery at Caycuma-1, our gas reserve in the Black Sea has risen by 170 billion cubic metres to 710 billion cubic metres,” said Erdogan. 

“This new discovery will open the door for new ones. We’ll start drilling new wells as soon as possible,” Bloomberg quoted Erdogan as saying at a press conference after a cabinet meeting.

The Sakarya gas field is on track to produce first gas as early as next year, Turkey’s Erdogan said in November. 

“Hopefully we’ll start using this gas next year,” the Turkish president was quoted as saying last month. 

This week, Erdogan said Turkey had already drilled 13 wells in the Sakarya field.   

The new discovery, at Caycuma-1, could be connected to the larger Sakarya gas field and from there to the country’s national grid, the president said on Monday.   

Related: WTI Oil Jumps Above $80 As China Scraps Covid Restrictions

The newly developed gas fields are set to go a long way toward Turkey’s energy diversification. So far, the country has mostly relied on imports to procure energy supply. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has hit Turkey’s economy and energy prices hard and has made energy imports much more expensive for Ankara. 

Before this week’s reserves update, Turkish officials had expected that the Black Sea gas resources could meet around one-third of the country’s gas demand, Bloomberg notes. 

Turkey is also preparing to potentially host a gas hub for Russian and other gas, which, however, may not be politically palatable to the EU. 

Earlier this year, Erdogan and Russia’s Vladimir Putin agreed to set up a natural gas hub in Turkey, the Turkish president said.

“And in his own words, Putin announced to the world that ‘Europe can get its natural gas from Türkiye’,” Erdogan was quoted as saying.

A week earlier, Putin first suggested that Russia redirect natural gas supplies intended for the damaged Nord Stream pipelines to the Black Sea and the creation of a European gas hub in Turkey

Since Putin first suggested the creation of the gas hub in Turkey, the two countries have not wasted time and instructed in October their respective energy regulators to immediately begin technical work to make the Russian proposal a reality.  

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“There will be no waiting” on this issue, Erdogan has said, as carried by AP.  

Last week, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said that any decisions on the potential gas hub in Turkey would be taken in 2023. 

“Currently Gazprom is actively working with Turkish colleagues, with other potential participants of this project from other countries,” Novak was quoted as saying in an interview with the Rossiya-24 TV news channel on Friday.

“As supplies to Europe in the southern direction are underway from both Algeria, and Qatar, and Azerbaijan as of today, fundamentally, the issue about the creation of a certain hub with not only Russian suppliers, but other exporters participating as well,” TASS quoted Novak as saying.  

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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