Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on Friday the discovery of the “largest” natural gas field “in Turkey’s history in the Black Sea, adding that his country hopes to start distributing gas in 2023.
“Turkey has made the largest discovery (of a natural gas field) in its history in its history,” Erdogan said during a speech in Istanbul, indicating that its reserves are estimated at 320 billion cubic meters.
The Turkish president considered that this discovery has “historical significance for the future” of Turkey, which relies almost exclusively on imports to meet its growing needs for gas and oil.
“God has opened a door for us to resources that we have never seen before,” he said, adding that “our target is to put the Black Sea gas in the service of our nation, starting from the year 2023.”
Erdogan indicated that the discovery of this gas field took place in the Tuna-1 well, stressing that the first indications “suggest that the discovered field is part of the much larger stock,” without giving further details.
The Turkish president indicated that his country will intensify exploration for natural gas in the eastern Mediterranean in the coming months, ignoring the European Union’s calls for de-escalation in the context of increasing tension.
“We will accelerate our operations in the Mediterranean with the deployment towards the end of the year (the exploration vessel) Kanoni, which is currently being maintained,” Erdogan said, expressing his hope for “making similar discoveries” to the one announced Friday in the Black Sea.
There are another exploration vessel and several Turkish seismic vessels in disputed areas in the eastern Mediterranean between Turkey, Greece, and Cyprus.
Two weeks ago, Ankara sent the seismic survey ship “Aruj Reis” accompanied by two military ships to an area claimed by Greece, which caused an escalation of tension.
The discovery of large gas fields in the eastern Mediterranean in recent years has fueled the ambitions of the peripheral countries.
Ankara, which found itself excluded from sharing these fields, has intensified its unilateral drilling operations, angering its neighbors and the European Union.