Turkey has greatly expanded its energy exploration operations in the Black Sea and in the disputed areas in the eastern Mediterranean waters. Turkey is keen to find large energy reserves to reduce its heavy dependence on imports from Iran, Iraq and Russia, and to support its economy.
A few days ago, Turkish President Erdogan said that the Turkish national drilling companies have found 320 billion cubic meters of natural gas in the Tuna 1 field, which is the largest discovery ever in the Black Sea, and hopes to start production by 2023.
Turkish Energy Minister Fatih Donmez says that drilling operations in the Fatih area reached depth of 3,500 to 4,000 meters.
However, the state-run Turkish oil company TPAO has no experience in producing gas from deep waters and will likely need to hire major companies to exploit the field. However, with the prevailing lower oil and gas prices, the economics of developing Tuna 1 field discovery may be less attractive than in the past.
The field is located 150 kilometers from the Turkish coast, near an area where the maritime borders of Bulgaria and Romania meet, and not far from the Romanian sector of Neptune, which is the largest in the Black Sea.
It is worth noting that Turkey has entered into regional conflicts with Greece and Cyprus in the eastern Mediterranean as it is looking for oil and gas in the disputed waters.