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Turkey may start short term spot gas exports to Europe from Sakarya field

Turkey may start short term spot gas exports to Europe from Sakarya field, Sohbet Karbuz, Turkish oil and gas analyst, told TurkicWorld.

"All will depend on the development of Turkish gas demand in the future. We might witness some temporary seasonal short term spot gas exports to Europe. However, the amounts would be negligible in terms of reducing Europe’s import dependence," he said.

Karbuz noted that with its numerous un(der)explored deepwater play types, the Black Sea holds an abiding fascination for petroleum geologists and is a true frontier basin close to European market.

"The Black Sea was once considered by many as potentially a new North­ Sea. However, this potential is mostly theoretical, with exploration still being at an early stage. When ones look at the number of wells drilled (less than 100), it would look like an exaggeration to compare the Black Sea with North Sea where there are more than 7000 wells have been drilled to date. But the Black Sea is still a high risk, high reward region. In recent years there has been increasing seismic surveys in the region but to make a discovery one needs drilling. With the discovery of Domino field in Romania in 2012, the largest gas discovery in the Black Sea until 2020, the hopes were raised again but above ground chaos (such as high and growing fiscal and regulatory risk; as well as lack of stability and predictability of regulations) spread shadows to upstream bonanza," said the analyst.

Karbuz pointed out that with the discovery of Sakarya field in Black Sea in August 2020, hopes have been raised again.

"The total amount of gas found at Sakarya field to date amounts to 540 billion cubic meters, multiples of the amount of gas found at Domuna field, estimated to be between 42 to 84 billion cubic meters. The Sakarya discovery has opened a new chapter not only in Turkey’s energy history but also in Black Sea. This discovery will surely attract the attention of international companies to the Black Sea and may lead to an increase in exploration activities in the region."

He went on to add that according to official announcements, initial production is expected to start in 2023 at a rate of 3-4 billion cubic meters per year, rising to a plateau of around 15 billion cubic meters by 2027.

"Surely, further drilling will confirm the true size of the field. The initial development plan involves 10 wells with a second phase of 30-40 wells to achieve the plateau production, depending on the results of appraisal drillings.

In any case, this discovery is a big gain for Turkey for several reasons. It will reduce dependency on gas imports from foreign sources and hence reduce import bill. This means less money would be spent for gas imports, which will help reduce Turkey’s current account deficit. For a country that imports 99 percent gas it consumes, this is neither negligible nor small. Besides, it will contribute to improving know-how, expertise and experience of Turkey’s upstream business, and contribute to Turkey’s economy in terms of creating new business opportunities, employment etc.," Karbuz concluded.

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