Turkey discovers biggest-ever natural gas reserve in Black Sea

Turkey’s drilling ship Fatih made the discovery in Tuna-1 field and the exploration is continuing in other fields. The Tuna-1 zone is located near Romania's gas reserve- Neptun block.

Turkey discovers natural gas reserve
Turkey discovers natural gas reserve

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on August 21, 2020 that Turkey has discovered 320 billion cubic meters of natural gas, the biggest-ever natural gas reserve in the Black Sea. The announcement was made during a televised address at Istanbul's Dolmabahce Palace. 

The Turkish President stated that the nation conducted the operation completely through national means and did not rely even one bit on foreign sources for the drilling operations. Turkey’s drilling ship Fatih made the discovery in Tuna-1 field and the exploration is continuing in other fields. 

Erdogan said that Turkey plans to extract the natural gas and begin its production by 2023, on the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Turkish Republic. 


If indeed Turkey can commercially extract natural gas from the recently discovered gas reserve then the discovery will help Turkey cut its current dependence on gas imports from Russia, Iran and Azerbaijan and meet its energy needs on its own. 

According to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the latest natural gas reserve discovery is a part of a much bigger source. He said, "God willing, much more will come.” The Turkish President also said that as a country that depended on the outside for gas for years, Turkey now looks to the future with more security now. He further stated that there will be no stopping until Turkey becomes a net exporter in energy.

Turkey's Natural Gas Discovery: Key Highlights

The Turkish drilling ship Fatih began its exploration work late last month in the Tuna-1 zone. The ship has been drilling to a depth of 3,500 to 4,000 meters (11,500 to 13,000 feet).

The Tuna-1 zone is 3,500 meters deep, extending 2,100 meters into the sea and 1,400 meters below the sea bed. 

The Tuna-1 zone lies at least 100 nautical miles north of the Turkish coast in the western Black Sea. The zone is close to an area where maritime borders of Bulgaria and Romania meet.

It is located near to the Romanian gas reserve- Neptun block, the largest gas find in the Black Sea in decades, which was discovered eight years ago by Petrom and Exxon.

Fatih is one of the three drilling ships bought by Turkey in recent years, as the nation plans to dramatically expand energy exploration in the Black Sea and contested waters of the eastern Mediterranean. 

Romania's Natural Gas Discovery

Romania had discovered the major deep-water natural gas reserve eight years ago but the find still has to be exploited. Currently, Romania has shallow-water gas projects. A company backed by American multinational private equity firm- The Carlyle Group has also been exploring off Romania but has not found any concrete results. 


Turkey has been exploring for hydrocarbons in the Black Sea and in the contested waters of the Mediterranean Sea, where its exploration operations have drawn protests from Greece and Cyprus.

Turkey has been striving to find new energy reserves to help it cut its heavy reliance on imports from nations such as Iran, Iraq and Russia. A reduction in Turkey's energy import bill, which stood at $41 billion last year, will also help boost government finances and ease the chronic current account deficit that has led the nation's current Lira to fall to record lows against the dollar.

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