ENERGY: Turkey´s Erdogan lauds huge natural gas find as just the start
By Iain Fraser – Geopolitical Journalist
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The Discovery of natural gas in the Black Sea deep under Turkey´s territorial waters will likely be followed by further discoveries, altering the geopolitics of energy trade in its region.
In a statement President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said that Turkey had struck gas deep under its territorial waters. “The work will continue for exploration as well as drilling at the same time. We’re very hopeful that it will lead to other fields in the same area.”
Ankara’s state-oil arm TPAO will continue offshore exploration near the 320 billion cubic metre Sakarya field where officials see “much greater potential” for hydrocarbons, Mr Kalin said in an interview at the presidential office in Istanbul on Saturday.
The discovery announced by Mr Erdogan on Friday is already the largest of its kind in the Black Sea, and proved the existence of sizeable deposits deep under the seabed.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters that the drilling ship Fatih, which has been operating in the area since July, had found 320bn cu m (11.3 tr cu ft) of gas. He added: “This reserve is actually part of a much bigger source. God willing, much more will come” “There will be no stopping until we become a net exporter in energy.”
President Erdogan said he hoped to start extracting the gas by 2023 but energy experts say it could take up to a decade and billions of dollars of investment to get the gas into commercial use.
If Turkey can extract the gas commercially, it will be able to reduce its reliance on imported energy.