Turkey officially launched on Monday the exploitation of natural gas in the Black Sea which should allow it, according to its president, to produce 10 million cubic meters by the first quarter of 2023.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan witnessed live the laying and connection of the first seabed pipeline from the port of Filyos in Zonguldak province about 400 km east of Istanbul on the Black Sea coast .
The field itself, located 170 km north of the shore, was discovered in August 2020 and presented by the Head of State as “the largest natural gas field in the history of Turkey”.
He then reported “reserves estimated at 320 billion cubic meters”.
“In the first quarter of 2023, we will have transferred 10 million cubic meters of natural gas (…) The Sakarya field will hopefully reach its peak production in 2026,” the president said on Monday.
“We are going to continue our efforts until we can fully ensure our energy security”, promised Mr. Erdogan again, while Turkey is still very dependent on imports to cover its energy needs, which it pays at the price strong, especially since the beginning of the war between Russia and Ukraine.
Last year, 45% of the gas consumed in Turkey came from Russia, the rest from Iran and Azerbaijan.
Inflation in the country is at a record level, unmatched since 1998 (73.5% year on year) and the currency is collapsing (down nearly 50% year on year to over 17 pounds to the US dollar on Monday at the end of the day, making the cost of living difficult to bear for the vast majority of Turks.
Turkey’s annual gas consumption has increased from 48 billion m3 in 2020 to 60 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach 62-63 billion this year, according to official figures.
Turkey consumes between 45 and 50 billion cubic meters of natural gas every year, almost entirely imported, especially from Russia. This represents around 11 billion euros, according to the energy market regulatory authority (EPDK).