Black Sea gas find: Additional drilling needed to confirm hydrocarbon potential

Oil&Gas Materials 24 August 2020 15:01 (UTC +04:00)
Black Sea gas find: Additional drilling needed to confirm hydrocarbon potential

BAKU, Azerbaijan, Aug.24

By Leman Zeynalova – Trend:

Additional drilling is needed to confirm hydrocarbon potential of Turkey’s new gas find in the Black Sea, Trend learned from Rystad Energy.

“Turkey’s national oil and gas company TPAO has made a gas discovery in its deepwater Tuna-1 exploration well in the western Black Sea that could help the country reduce its heavy reliance on imports to meet rising energy consumption. With an initial volume estimate of 11.3 trillion cubic feet of gas, Tuna represents a break from Turkey’s 15 years of unsuccessful exploration efforts in the deep waters of the Black Sea. The discovery has still to be flow-tested and delineated, however, and a development will be capital intensive and take years – which means imported gas could still be the order of the day for Turkey for several years yet,” the company said.

Rystad Energy believes that while TPAO has announced an initial estimate of about 11.3 trillion cubic feet of gas, it is too early to conclude on such a major resource base as additional drilling will be needed to confirm the spatial extent and hydrocarbon potential of the find.

Furthermore, Tuna-1 is yet to be flow tested, which adds uncertainty over the reservoir deliverability, according to the company.

“Additionally, any significant discovery will not only be capital intensive but will also take years to develop due to the limited offshore infrastructure and the challenges related to mobilizing equipment through the busy Bosphorus Strait,” added the company.

Rystad Energy said that Turkey’s gas consumption doubled between 2005 and 2017 to a peak of 51.6 billion cubic meters as gas is used for electricity production and therefore makes up a major part of the country’s energy mix.

“The country currently imports around 90 percent of its oil and gas, mostly from Russia and Iran, and a major gas discovery, if developed, could help reduce Turkey’s reliance on imports. Whether Tuna-1 is such a discovery, and whether it can come on stream already in 2023 as TPAO has indicated, is still uncertain, however. A number of geological, commercial and practical questions remain before a development can take shape.”

Turkey has made its biggest-ever natural gas discovery in the Black Sea, said the country’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He said some 320 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas was discovered in the Black Sea’s Tuna-1 zone where Turkey has been carrying out exploration activities, noting "the newly discovered reserves are only a piece of a larger resource," and the country "will continue to discover more in the near future."


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