A bit more.
Turkey has discovered energy in the Black Sea, most likely natural gas, two people with direct knowledge of the matter said Wednesday, but gave no indication of the size and depth of the find, nor how difficult it will be to extract.
The two spoke after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan promised to deliver Turks “good news” on Friday that would usher in a new era for the nation. He has also vowed to pursue energy exploration in contested Mediterranean waters that has triggered rows with the European Union. The president’s office declined to comment.
The lira extended gains against the dollar after the news and was trading 1.2% stronger late Wednesday local time. The benchmark Borsa Istanbul 100 Index also rose 3% after Erdogan spoke, while shares of refiner Turkiye Petrol Rafinerileri AS, or Tupras, and petrochemical manufacturer Petkim Petrokimya Holding AS jumped 7.6% and 9.9% respectively.
Energy Minister Fatih Donmez said last month that the drilling ship Fatih had started exploration in the so-called Tuna-1 zone, off the Turkish town of Eregli.
relates to Turkey Finds Energy in Black Sea as Erdogan Vows a New Era
“There have been gas discoveries in the Black Sea before but of a limited scale,” Timothy Ash, a strategist at BlueBay Asset Management LLP in London, said on Twitter. “Given its $35-50 billion annual energy import bill, Turkey needs something big to be a game changer.”
Market upheaval has sent the lira to a record low against the dollar, but the central bank has opted to tighten policy by stealth, avoiding a change in the benchmark interest rate that could irk Erdogan, who continues to call for lower borrowing costs. The central bank’s policy committee meets on Thursday to consider rates.
Tuna-1, some 150 kilometers from Turkey’s coast, is close to an area where maritime borders of Bulgaria and Romania converge and not far from Romania’s Neptun block, the largest gas find in the Black Sea in decades discovered eight years ago by Petrom and Exxon. The Fatih has been carrying out drilling operations in Tuna-1 area since around mid-July according to a Turkish Navy website.
Romania has shallow-water gas projects, but a major deep-water find by OMV Petrom SA eight years ago has still to be exploited. A company backed by the Carlyle Group is also exploring off Romania, aiming to get gas in 2021. Rosneft has explored in the Russian part of the Black Sea but without concrete results.
“I don’t think it is that surprising more findings coming from there,” said Christoph Merkel, managing director of Merkel Energy consultancy. “Bulgaria, Ukraine, Greece might be among the ones very interested in buying that gas, if Turkey decides to export it.”
“Depending on the size of the discovery, I expect at least a tranche of TurkStream to be idle,” he said. “Why would Turkey want to keep importing gas from Russia?”
Gas giant Gazprom PJSC opened the TurkStream pipeline under the Black Sea to increase its market share in Turkey and reduce Russia’s dependence on Ukraine as a transit route