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Turkey Raises Size Estimate of Giant Black Sea Gas Find

Turkey Raises Size Estimate of Giant Black Sea Gas Find”

Turkey's president on Saturday boarded a Black Sea drill ship where he is set to officially announce details of a new discovery of natural gas reserves.

In August, Erdogan announced the discovery by Turkish drillship Fatih of underwater gas reserves in the Black Sea totalling about 320 billion cubic tonnes, the largest discovery in the country's history. Turkey hopes the discovery can help ease its dependence on energy supplies from other countries, notably Russian Federation, which comes at a high cost at a time when the local currency is weakening and the economy is more fragile because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking aboard the drill ship Fatih on Saturday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said explorations in the Tuna-1 well were complete after reaching a depth of 4775 meters (5,222 yards). One source close to the matter said an annual gas flow of 15 billion cubic metres was envisaged from 2025. The discovery was made at the Tuna-1 well, where the Fatih launched drilling on July 20.

Ankara has said that the Black Sea find will not deter it from exploring in the eastern Mediterranean, despite accusations from neighboring Greece that Turkey is violating maritime borders.

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Erdogan said in televised remarks that the discovery was a "morale booster" and would "significantly reduce Turkey's reliance on foreign resources". Last year's imports totalled more than $41bn.

Last month, Turkey withdrew Oruc Reis from its activity area to a port in Antalya province for its monthly maintenance and supplies.

Greece and Cyprus pushed for a tougher response to Turkey's natural gas exploration in contested waters at a European Union summit on Friday but were essentially told to hold off until a meeting in December. Gas from the field could be pumping into Turkish homes by 2023, he added.

"We will continue our search for hydrocarbon resources in the Black Sea and the Mediterranean", Erdogan said.



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