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Türkiye’s Black Sea daily gas output reaches ‘historic’ 4.5 mcm

The gas production from Türkiye’s vast reserve off its Black Sea coast has reached a “historic level” of 4.5 million cubic meters (mcm) per day, a senior official announced Monday.

The current output is meeting the gas needs of 1.8 million homes, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Alparslan Bayraktar told an event at Istanbul’s Ibn Haldun University.

The Sakarya Gas Field off the northwestern Zonguldak province is estimated to contain 710 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas. The reserve was gradually discovered in August 2020.

More than a year ago, Türkiye started pumping gas into the national grid through a pipeline linked to an onshore processing facility.

The reserve will meet approximately 30% of the nation’s annual gas need once the production reaches total capacity.

The output is aimed to be lifted first to 10 mcm before reaching 40 mcm in the final phase, enough to supply up to 15 million households.

“In the next few years, we will supply all the gas needs for households that you’re using for heating, cooking or maybe in your dormitory from this Sakarya Gas Field,” Bayraktar said.

Bayraktar promised to provide further details about any upcoming discoveries soon.

Türkiye is almost entirely dependent on imports to cover its energy needs, which left it vulnerable to rising costs that surged following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Over the years, it ramped up its hydrocarbon explorations in the Black Sea and the Eastern Mediterranean to curb external dependence.

Oil production

Its onshore drillings helped it discover a large oil reserve in the Gabar region of the eastern Sirnak province in late 2022.

Oil production in the region exceeded 40,000 barrels per day (bpd) earlier this month.

Bayraktar recalled the aim to lift this figure to 100,000 barrels by the end of 2024.

“Thus, in 2025, Türkiye will meet 20% of its oil needs from its own resources,” the minister noted.

Energy and Natural Resources Minister Alparslan Bayraktar speaks during an event at Ibn Haldun University, in Istanbul, Türkiye, April 29, 2024. (AA Photo)
Energy and Natural Resources Minister Alparslan Bayraktar speaks during an event at Ibn Haldun University, in Istanbul, Türkiye, April 29, 2024. (AA Photo)

The output gradually rose from 25,000 bpd in October to 30,000 bpd in December before reaching 35,000 this January.

The discoveries in Gabar increased the country’s proven oil reserves to about 1.2 billion barrels. Türkiye is estimated to consume about 1 million barrels of oil a day.

The nation’s crude oil production rose gradually over recent years, reaching about 70,000 barrels per day in 2022. That compared to 65,000 barrels daily in 2021, 61,000 in 2020, and 57,000 in 2019.

The output averaged 80,000 barrels last year, which the country expects to increase to 200,000 by the end of 2024.

Renewables, nuclear energy

Bayraktar said renewable energy now accounts for 55% of the country’s total installed electricity capacity.

But he said there is significant potential, which, he says, they aim to incorporate into the energy portfolio.

Expressing the intention to incentivize local production in renewable energy, Bayraktar said, “We want to manufacture our wind turbines and solar panels in Türkiye. This way, we will create employment in Turkey.”

Bayraktar also said the initial reactor of the country’s first nuclear power plant, Akkuyu, is almost 95% complete.

“Hopefully, we will produce our first electricity from nuclear energy within a year.”

The Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) is being built by Russia’s state atomic energy company Rosatom in Mersin province on the southern Mediterranean coastline.

It will boast four reactors with a total installed capacity of 4,800 megawatts and will supply 10% of Türkiye’s electricity consumption.

Estimated to cost around $20 billion, the NPP is expected to be fully operational by 2028. It is part of Türkiye’s ambitious plan to triple its renewable energy capacity by 2053 as it strives to become a carbon-neutral economy.

Bayraktar emphasized that Türkiye also plans large-scale nuclear power plant projects in the Black Sea city of Sinop and Thrace.

Türkiye has been talking with several countries, including Russia and China, for the plants.

Bayraktar also expressed the country’s intention to invest in small modular reactors.

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