Turkey’s energy and natural resources minister Fatih Donmez said that the economic value of the recently discovered natural gas reserve in the Black Sea comes to nearly $65 billion.
Fatih Donmez’s remarks came after Turkey earlier announced its biggest ever natural gas discovery, a 320 billion cubic meter (bcm) Black Sea field, which President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said was a part of even bigger reserves and could come onstream as soon as 2023, Turkish Anadolu news agency reported.
“Globally, gas prices are oil-indexed. We can say that the economic value of 320 billion cubic meters of natural gas reserves discovered in the Black Sea could reach $65 billion if we look at it from a perspective of gas prices over the last 3-5 years,” Donmez said.
Noting that Turkey’s annual gas consumption is about 45-50 bcm, Donmez said that the amount of gas reserves in the discovered field could meet Turkey’s total gas consumption for 7 to 8 years without any additional gas imports.
“Our target is to send the first gas to the shore by 2023,” Donmez said, adding that a production plan will be designed to this end.
Donmez asserted that Turkish Petroleum has gained an extensive knowledge and experience in the last years and Turkey will continue its drilling and seismic studies through its own means.
The operation of the natural gas field will be handled by state-owned energy company the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO), Donmez said.
The discovery is expected to draw the attention of international energy companies to the Black Sea, paving the way for Turkey’s future discoveries.
Turkey has striven to increase domestic gas production as the country is 99% dependent on imports both via pipelines and liquified natural gas (LNG). The majority of the imports come from Russia, while Azerbaijan and Iran also have a significant share in total gas imports.