Turkey threw all its forces into the development of its gas reserves in the Black Sea
Immediately two Turkish drilling ships entered the Black Sea to the gas field discovered last year. Turkey plans to start production in two years and cover up to a third of the country's consumption with Black Sea gas. This could hit gas suppliers, including Gazprom. Ankara is already demanding more comfortable conditions for long-term contracts, which expire this year, and has not extended, for example, yet one of the contracts with Azerbaijani Socar.
Drilling vessel "Qanuni" went to the deep-water field "Sakarya" in the Turkish economic zone of the Black Sea. It is located about 100 miles offshore. Fatih is already at the field and has been drilling the Amasra-1 well for a month.
Energy Minister Fatih Donmez tweeted that Qanuni will test the already drilled Türkali-2 well. Next, the Turkish drilling vessel will check the wells Türkali-1 and Tuna-1.
According to Daily Sabah, Turkey is already conducting research on how to deliver gas ashore. According to the newspaper, the seismic survey vessel Barbaros Hayreddin Paşa will soon begin work in the Black Sea. It is already in the Black Sea port of Filyos.
Ankara plans that the first gas from Sakarya, which was opened last year, will be supplied to Turkish consumers via a 150-kilometer underwater gas pipeline in 2023, when the 100th anniversary of the republic will be celebrated. The opening of Sakarya was a real gift to the Turkish authorities, which for several decades have been promising citizens to make the country more energy independent by the solemn date. However, previous works did not bring success.
Over the next few years, 10 wells are planned to be drilled at the field with an estimated reserves of 405 billion cubic meters. In total, they are planning about 40 units by 2028.
In the first years, production will amount to 5-10 billion cubic meters, and by 2025 it is planned to reach 45 billion. This is a third of gas consumption in Turkey in recent years.
Energy Minister Fatih Donmez announced that contracts for the supply of 24 billion cubic meters to Turkey will be completed in the next five to six years, and Ankara has already stopped negotiations on the extension of the agreements in order to assess the possibilities of its own production. Gazprom is the largest gas supplier to Turkey with 28 billion cubic meters of gas contracted per year. This year, two contracts expire for a total volume of 8 billion cubic meters.
“Taking into account internal resources and conditions from external sources, we will choose the proposals that suit us the most,” said Fatih Donmez.
As EADaily reported, the Turkish state company Botas did not extend the long-term contract for the annual supply of 6.6 billion cubic meters of gas, which expired on April 17, with the operator of the Shah Deniz 1 project BP-Azerbaijan, and the supply of fuel through the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline was stopped.
The head of the Center for Oil Research, Ilham Shaban, told EADaily, citing sources that Azerbaijan offered Turkey a more mutually beneficial contract, including on terms. “But the Turkish side physically did not have time to study and make a decision. Therefore, we decided to take a pause, during which neither mining companies nor Turkey lose anything, ”said Ilham Shaban.
Deputy Director of the National Energy Security Fund (NESF) Alexei Grivach believes that the parties are bargaining. And Ankara's position is connected, among other things, with systemic problems in the Turkish gas market. “Due to the devaluation, the supply of imported gas to the domestic market regularly requires subsidies,” the expert noted, pointing out that Turkey wants to shift this burden or at least part of it onto external suppliers.