Türkiye’s drillship kicks off drilling ops in Black Sea

On a mission to unlock more hydrocarbons and further strengthen Türkiye’s energy security, the country’s national oil and gas giant, Türkiye Petrolleri A.O. (TPAO), has started drilling a new well in the Black Sea, Offshore Energy reports.

Türkiye has been actively working on bolstering its energy independence, as illustrated by the arrival of its first drillship, Fatih, in 2017, Yavuz in 2018, Kanuni in 2020, and Abdülhamid Han in 2021. The first of these drillships discovered the giant Sakarya gas field in August 2020.

This same drillship is now undertaking more drilling activities in the Black Sea. According to TPAO, the Fatih drillship has started drilling in a new location in the Black Sea by spudding the Filyos-1 well. With the aim of new discovery, Türkiye’s energy player confirms that drilling activities continue unabated.

After the Fatih drillship made a natural gas discovery in December 2022 at Çaycuma 1 block, Türkiye’s natural gas reserves of 540 bcm were revised to 652 bcm, bringing the country’s total natural gas reserves in the Black Sea to 710 bcm.

The country’s pride and joy known as the Sakarya project was expected to deliver the first gas in the first quarter of 2023, most likely in March. However, the massive earthquakes, that hit Türkiye and Syria, caused delays for various projects, thus, the timeline for the first Black Sea gas was bumped to April 20, 2023.

Furthermore, Melih Han Bilgin, TPAO General Manager, revealed at the opening of the 21st International Petroleum and Natural Gas Congress and Exhibition (IPETGAS 2023) on September 28, 2023, that the capacity in the Sakarya gas field would be gradually increased. Currently, the field produces approximately 4 million cubic meters of gas on a daily basis.

“There is a planned capacity in the Sakarya gas field. We will move forward by optimizing this capacity and the realities of the reservoir by better understanding it. The entire facility is online and we are developing it by increasing production,” outlined Bilgin.

While highlighting that Turkey’s domestic hydrocarbon production has exceeded its foreign production, Bilgin added: “All production increases are actually production sizes achieved through organic growth. The successes we have achieved here are obvious as we have concentrated on more exploration and production. Our target is 98,000 barrels.”

“We have achieved the domestic production target as all Turkish Petroleum Joint Stock Company personnel. We are proud of all our colleagues in this effort, but let it be known that the road ahead is more difficult, Turkish Petroleum Joint Stock Company will be a production company that talks about million barrels.”

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