Full Extent of Turkey’s Shale Gas Reserves Unknown

Posted on 25 January 2013

It is certainly good news that Turkey has considerable deposits of shale gas, as foreign energy imports account for a major part of the current account deficit. Extracting the shale gas could mean Turkey will finally enjoy the competitive energy prices.

In 2011 the US government released its analysis of these reserves and estimated there could be 424.8 trillion m³ of shale gas that could technically be regarded as being recoverable. However other experts think they could be 2 trillion m³ of gas reserves, while others think the level is closer to 1.2 trillion.

In spite of these huge figures only a few companies have expressed an interest in helping Turkish Petroleum Corporation to recover the gas, but these do include some of the largest companies in the world.

According to experts in the field, it’s necessary for the value of total organic carbon to be more than 10% for shale gas drilling to make sense economically. However there is still a need for additional geological research to be carried out into identifying certain physical features of different layers of shale including their electrical properties, the porosity and the permeability.

The Turkish Petroleum Corporation has dug a single parameter well, but it’s not known if a single well will be sufficient to identify all the parameters. It is more likely that more wells will need to be dug in order to carry out the calculations into how much shale gas is actually contained. One problem is that the shale gas industry is still very much in its infancy, and it’s very difficult to ascertain exactly how much these shale reserves actually contain.

But experts have pointed out that it’s significant that companies such as Shell and Exxon are willing to invest in shale exploration in Turkey. If Turkey is able to extract sufficient shale gas, then energy prices could fall to as little as a third of the current levels.

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