The recently discovered natural gas field in the Black Sea could be a salvation for the Turkish economy. Energy Minister Fatih Donmez said it should meet a quarter of Turkey’s needs when it reaches maximum production capacity by 2027, Bloomberg reports.
For Ankara, the Sakarya field, discovered in 2020, is of particular importance as the country seeks to cut its energy costs by about $ 44 billion. To realize these ambitions, Turkey needs to reduce its dependence on imports, which account for almost all of the country’s gas consumption. The importance of the new field was emphasized by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He praised the largest find in the history of the Black Sea and called it a boost for the Turkish economy. The country’s leader promised to start production in 2023, which will mark the centenary of the founding of modern Turkey and the next presidential election.
Fatih Donmez said that in 2023 production at the field will amount to 3.5 billion cubic meters. The goal is to increase this volume to 15 billion cubic meters per year by 2027. According to the minister’s estimates, the desired productivity on the Sakarya plateau will amount to 31 percent of the domestic gas demand in 2020. However, along with the growth in production, demand may also increase. According to Donmez, gas consumption will rise by a quarter in 2021 to 60 billion cubic meters.
The Sakarya field reserves are estimated at 540 billion cubic meters. The government has no plans to invite international oil companies to develop it. Fatih Donmez believes that the state-owned energy company Turkiye Petrolleri AO (TPAO) has enough technical capacity to do this on its own.
To meet the growing demand for electricity, Turkey is negotiating with Russia on a possible extension of a long-term contract for the supply of eight billion cubic meters of gas. The agreement expires in December 2021. Fatih Donmez said that the authorities are planning to increase gas imports from Russia by 2 billion cubic meters thanks to the reserve capacity of the Turkish Stream. As Gazprom reported earlier in September, Turkey has a priority over Europe, as the Russian energy company considers the country a reliable economic partner.