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Natural Gas Reserves Found on Turkey’s Black Sea Coast

Posted on 21 September 2012

It was recently announced that natural gas deposits have been found on Turkey’s Black Sea coast. This is an extremely important development as it is one of Turkey’s first natural gas reserves. The Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) was in charge of the drilling operation that discovered the key natural gas deposit at a depth of 3,600 m.

It’s likely this exploratory drilling will continue for up to a year. The discovery was made in the Western Black Sea, and is one of only five Black Sea sites where exploratory drilling has been carried out by a Consortium that included TPAO, British Petroleum, Chevron, Exxon and Petrobras. So far the other four sites haven’t yielded any commercially exploitable gas deposits.

It’s likely these results will draw the interest of a number of international firms including Royal Dutch Shell, as the CEO Peter Voser recently visited Ankara to meet with the Turkish prime minister and energy Minister and is said to be evaluating opportunities within the region. US company Chevron is also due to renew its drilling contract until 2016, although there is speculation it may have done so in order to avoid $100 million fine that would have become applicable had its licence expired without drilling a well previously agreed under its current contract.

Any discovery of gas is welcome news, as Turkey is forced to import nearly all of its natural gas supplies and is keen to lessen its dependency on foreign suppliers. A recent report by BP showed Turkey was third after China and Greece for rising natural gas costs and is responsible for 1.4% of the world’s natural gas consumption.

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