President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the discovery of new natural gas deposits in the Black Sea, where Turkey plans to start production in 2023.
State energy company Tpao found 135 billion cubic meters of gas at the Amasra-1 offshore well, bringing the total amount of deposits discovered over the past year to 540 billion cubic meters, Erdogan said in televised remarks from the Black Sea coastal city of Zonguldak.
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No independent audit of total and recoverable gas at either of the finds in the so-called Sakarya field has been made available by authorities. Officials have said Tpao is planning to develop the deposits on its own, and won’t need foreign financing.
Turkey has ramped up exploration for oil and gas off its coasts in recent years. Erdogan has pitched recent energy finds as a solution to some of Turkey’s long-term economic vulnerabilities, including its energy-import bill that needs to be paid in foreign currency.
Turkish explorers last year found 405 billion cubic meters of gas at the nearby Tuna-1 well in Sakarya field, the biggest ever discovery in the Black Sea.
Turkey currently imports nearly all of the 50 billion cubic meters of gas it consumes annually. Officials expect domestic production to boost the nation’s gas demand by 60%, to as much as 80 billion cubic meters per year by 2030.
Discoveries are also expected to allow Turkey to import cheaper gas and trim the annual average energy bill of around $44 billion.