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Turkey launches third drillship to Sakarya gas field


Turkey launches third drillship to Sakarya gas field

Turkey Ahval newsPhoto: Ahval News

Turkey is set to launch a third drillship to the recently discovered Sakarya gas field today.

The Kanuni drillship is expected to begin exploring the Black Sea’s natural resources in the first months of 2021. Ankara plans to extract the gas and make it available to consumers from 2023, when parliamentary and presidential elections are due in the country.

Turkey’s gas exploration efforts are aimed at reducing the country’s reliance on energy imports, especially from Russia, Azerbaijan and Iran, a dependence that has aggravated Turkey’s economic deficit. The country is also mired in territorial disputes with Greece and Cyprus in the eastern Mediterranean as a result of it pursuing gas exploration there. This has significantly raised regional tensions with the EU.

However, it remains debatable if these exploration efforts and subsequent reserves will meet Turkey’s energy needs considering an initial production process of six years. Energy consumption is increasing rapidly in the country and is now approaching, for natural gas, the maximum level of imports by existing infrastructure.

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The discovery of new natural gas sites in the Black Sea will continue to change the geopolitics of energy trade in the region. Expect Turkey to have greater leverage in negotiating gas deals, notably with Iran and Russia, with which current deals expire in 2023 and 2026 respectively.

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