Reevaluation and new discovery push Türkiye’s Black Sea natural gas reserves up

Re-evaluation and new discovery push Türkiye’s Black Sea natural gas reserves up

Türkiye’s total natural gas reserves in the Black Sea have increased, following a new gas discovery and an upward revision of a previous one.

Fatih drillship; Source: TPAO

Türkiye’s President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, disclosed a new natural gas discovery amounting to 58 billion cubic meters (bcm) earlier this week, which was made at Çaycuma 1 block by the Fatih drillship, 3,023 meters below sea level in the Black Sea. In addition, Erdoğan highlighted that the country’s natural gas reserves of 540 bcm were revised to 652 bcm following re-evaluation. This brings Türkiye’s total natural gas reserves in the Black Sea to 710 bcm.

Commenting on this, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Türkiye’s President, remarked: “Our natural gas reserves in the Black Sea increased by 170 billion cubic meters and reached a total of 710 billion cubic meters, with the revaluation studies and the new 58 billion cubic meters discovery of our Fatih drillship in Çaycuma-1.”

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Erdoğan further points out that Türkiye currently has “seven international pipelines, four LNG terminals, and two underground natural gas storage facilities,” concluding that the country has “all the infrastructure to become an energy hub.” 

“We are determined to turn Türkiye into an energy hub of the Caspian, Mediterranean and the Middle East regions. We will connect east to west not only through our bridges over the Istanbul and Çanakkale straits but also through energy bridges,” elaborated Erdoğan.

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During a press conference on the details of the new natural gas discovery and the upward revision of Türkiye’s natural gas reserves announced by Erdoğan, the country’s Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Fatih Dönmez, confirmed that the reserves within the Sakarya gas field, where intensive work is being carried out with more than 50 ships, were re-evaluated as a result of the work done by DeGolyer & MacNaughton. Thus, Türkiye’s reserve size has now reached 710 billion cubic meters.

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As a reminder, Turkish national oil and gas company TPAO started laying pipes in June 2022 to connect the processing facility and the subsea production facility as part of its Sakarya field project development, which was discovered in August 2020 with the Fatih drillship. “Our main transmission line of 170 kilometres has been completed,” stated Dönmez in relation to the work undertaken at the Sakarya field.

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The Sakarya gas development project entails the establishment of a subsea production facility at a depth of 2,200 meters, 170 kilometres north of Filyos, and construction of a gas receiving and processing terminal on the Filyos shore, and the construction of pipelines to connect two units on land and sea. This project is expected to deliver the first gas in the first quarter of 2023, most likely in March.

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Furthermore, Dönmez elaborates that the natural gas processing facility on land will process 10 million cubic meters of gas per day in the first stage, however, this is expected to be increased to 40 million cubic meters in the second phase.

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While ten wells have been drilled so far, Dönmez outlines that the drilling activities will continue with “more than 30 additional wells here in the second phase. As we have explained before, I hope we will have completed all the well drilling operations here by 2026.”

After bringing in the country’s first drillship, Fatih, in 2017, Yavuz in 2018, and Kanuni in 2020, TPAO bought its fourth drillship, Abdülhamid Han, in 2021. The fourth drillship left South Korea in March 2022 and reached Türkiye in May 2022. The drillship was sent on its first drilling mission in the East Mediterranean in August 2022.

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“As we have said before, we have stated that we will continue exploration and drilling activities on our own continental shelf, within our jurisdiction. This process continues within the framework of a business plan,” said Dönmez.

Dönmez further points out that the Abdülhamid Han drillship has completed its assignment at the Yörükler-1 well and continues its work at the second location off the Taşucu coast of Mersin.

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Moreover, Dönmez underscored that Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) had made the necessary explanations regarding the gas discovery in parcel 6 of the so-called Exclusive Economic Zone, which was declared unilaterally by the Greek Cypriot Administration of Southern Cyprus.

“Everyone living on the island of Cyprus has the right to benefit from those resources. We consider that the actions to be taken by ignoring one side are not fair. In this context, the rights and interests of our compatriots living in Northern Cyprus should be protected,” elaborated Dönmez.

Dönmez also emphasises that the Black Sea gas will have a positive impact on the closing of the current deficit, as to its impact on bills, he said: “We will give the gas to the system, maybe it will be useful to make these evaluations later.” 

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