The volumes of natural gas that Turkey has found so far in the Black Sea are worth in excess of $500 billion, Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Dönmez told broadcaster CNN Türk.
The huge gas finds would be enough to supply all households in the country for 35 years, or to cover total Turkish natural gas consumption, including from industry, for 15 to 20 years, the minister added.
Last week, Turkish Petroleum (TPAO) said on Twitter that the installation of the pipes connecting the energy base in the Black Sea to the Sakarya Gas Field Land Facility had been successfully completed. The company said the inauguration of the start of the gas transmission from the field is expected to take place on April 20 in the presence of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The Sakarya gas field is set to initially produce around 10 million cubic meters per day, before reaching a peak within three years to pump some 40 million cubic meters per day in 2025, Dönmez told CNN Türk.
The field inauguration could be the beginning of the Turkish plan to become less dependent on imports of natural gas, which account for 99% of consumption at present.
At the end of last year, Turkey announced 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), Erdogan said at the end of December.
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.