Turkey eyeing another exploratory drilling in Black Sea
Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Dönmez on Monday announced that Turkey could carry out another exploratory drilling in the northern Black Sea by the end of this year or early 2022, state-run broadcaster TRT reported.
Dönmez said the region contained “serious productivity potential’’ and data in line with finds last year may result in the announcement of a discovery in the field located in the northwest of the sea.
Last year, Turkish explorers found 405 billion cubic meters of gas at the Tuna-1 well in Sakarya field, the largest ever discoveryin the Black Sea.
The discovery has been heralded by Ankara as being crucial in decreasing the country’s energy import dependency, which totalled $41 billion last year.
“We can plan another exploratory drilling in the Black Sea within this year or in the first quarter of next year,” Dönmez said. “We know it is a region with high potential. As a matter of fact, the drilling we have done so far has confirmed it.”
Turkey has intensified efforts for the exploration for oil and gas off its coasts in recent years, with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pitching recent energy finds as a solution to some of Turkey’s long-term economic vulnerabilities, including import reliance, whose cost needs to be paid in foreign currency against an ever-weakening Turkish lira.
Speaking on plans to start production on the Black Sea discovery in 2023, Dönmez said it was Turkey’s preference to favour domestic companies.
"But because we will consequently conduct the procurement and supply process of these works in a competitive environment, we can work with domestic and foreign companies that meet our needs at the required standards,” he added.