TPAO will need to set up consortium for newly-discovered gas field in Black Sea

Oil&Gas Materials 24 August 2020 17:08 (UTC +04:00)
TPAO will need to set up consortium for newly-discovered gas field in Black Sea

BAKU, Azerbaijan, Aug.24

By Leman Zeynalova – Trend:

Turkey’s TPAO company will need to set up a consortium for the development of the newly-discovered gas field in the Black Sea , Francis Perrin, Senior Fellow at the Policy Center for the New South (PCNS, Rabat) and at the French Institute for International and Strategic Affairs (IRIS, Paris), told Trend.

“This natural gas discovery in the Black Sea is important. But we need some more time in order to assess the real size of this gas field. Seismic data show similar structures below the reservoir which has been discovered; appraisal wells will have to be drilled; and it is necessary to have some more technical data about the discovery well, which is different from a political communication by the Turkish authorities. A figure of 320 billion cubic meters of gas has been given but does this refer to the volumes of gas in place in the reservoir or to proven gas reserves, which are two different concepts. And what could be the future annual production of this field? There are a lot of key questions and we need to have technical (and not only political) answers to them in the coming weeks and months,” he said.

Perrin pointed out that one thing is sure: this discovery will not in itself prevent Turkey from importing natural gas in the future.

“The country's gas needs are estimated at about 45 billion cubic meters per year and the quasi-totality of these volumes is imported. Turkey will remain a gas importing country but it will be able to reduce these imports if its consumption remains at the present level. It is too early to forecast the future reduction of Turkey's gas imports because it is necessary first to have more specific information about the reserves of this discovery and its future production profile,” noted Perrin.

President Erdogan said that production could begin by 2023 but this goal is very, very ambitious due to the fact that this is a deep offshore discovery (about 2,100 meters water depth) and taking into account the average time required for the appraisal and the development of an important gas field, according to the expert.

“It is not totally impossible (the Zohr field, discovered by the Italian group Eni offshore Egypt in August 2015, came on stream at the end of 2017) but very difficult. The Turkish national oil company TPAO, which made this important gas discovery, will have talks and negotiations with other oil companies in order to set up a consortium for the future development and exploitation of this field. As of today TPAO holds a 100 percent interest in the block where this field was discovered,” he said.

Perrin believes that Turkey will remain over the next few years a large gas importer with natural gas coming from Russia, Iran and Azerbaijan through pipelines and liquefied natural gas (LNG) imported from several other countries including Algeria, Qatar and the U.S.

“It is of course possible that other gas fields will be discovered in the Black Sea or in the Mediterranean but, in the second case, the geopolitical context is rather complex due to the delicate relationship between Turkey and the Republic of Cyprus, Turkey and Greece, Turkey and the European Union, Turkey and Egypt and Turkey and Israel. President Erdogan said that Turkey will not stop its efforts until it becomes a net gas importer but this goal is not yet in sight. That being said the history of exploration in the Black Sea is not finished,” he concluded.


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