Turkey is determined to start mining gas from Black Sea fields in 2023, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said.
“Great efforts are being made to ensure that the first phase of Black Sea gas production begins in 2023, and those who shake the friendly hand extended by Turkey – the most politically and economically powerful country in the region – will definitely make money,” Erdoğan said in a video conference held to mark the opening of the first test well.
These statements have raised considerable doubts among experts, as developing large offshore deposits usually takes a long time and requires billions of dollars in funding.
According to the Turkish president, the Black Sea project is crucial to reducing Ankara’s dependence on foreign raw materials. “They tried to hit us with sanctions, threats, blackmail, but they achieved nothing,” he said.
In early June, Erdoğan announced to the world that Turkey had discovered a new gas field in the Black Sea. Its reserves are estimated at 135 bcm. Together with last year’s discovery, this is expected to give a total of around 500 bcm.
For Turkey, which is almost entirely dependent on imports, these discoveries are a real milestone. Indeed, in 2019 alone, imports of “blue fuel” over the Bosporus cost $41 billion.
By Martin Chomsky (photo: public domain)