Two Turkish sources told Reuters that Turkey has found large gas resources in the Black Sea, in a disclosure that may help it reduce its dependence on energy imports if the commercially discovered gas can be extracted.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told energy executives on Wednesday that he would announce “good news” on Friday, which would mark the beginning of a “new era” for Turkey.
He did not give details, but the two sources said that he was talking about a gas discovery in the Black Sea, and one of them explained that the size of the reserves may meet Turkey’s energy needs for 20 years.
The Turkish exploration vessel Fatih has been operating since late July in the Tuna-1 exploration area, which is about 100 nautical miles north of the Turkish coast on the western Black Sea.
The source said, “There is a discovery of natural gas in the well, Tuna 1 .. The expected reserve is 26 trillion cubic feet or 800 billion cubic meters, which meets Turkey’s needs for about 20 years.”
But he warned that the start of production could take from seven to ten years, and he estimated the investment costs at between two and three billion dollars.
Officials, including Energy Minister Fatih Donmaz, did not give details of Friday’s announcement, saying that Erdogan would reveal the “surprise” himself.
Reuters says: If the size of the Black Sea reserves is confirmed, it will be an important discovery in light of the fact that fields containing between one and two trillion cubic feet are often being developed.
Analysts say the discoveries will bolster any reduction in Turkey’s energy import bill, which amounted to $ 41 billion last year from suppliers such as Russia and Iran, and help ease the chronic deficit in the current account balance that is putting pressure on the lira.
A banker said that the market reaction shows that the Turks, who have been selling the lira to buy foreign currencies in recent months, are looking for a reason to buy back the local currency, but they also want to be sure that it will not decline further.