The production cost of the newly discovered natural gas in the Black Sea will be much more economical than the cost of the imported resources, Turkish Energy Minister Fatih Dönmez has said, expressing hope to explore more gas finds in the near future.
“According to our calculations, we are going to produce gas at a much more economical way compared to the gas we import under today’s conditions,” Dönmez told the state-run Anadolu Agency in an interview on Sept. 23.
Turkey announced in August that it found a 320 billion cubic meter natural gas area off the Black Sea with estimations that the reserve contains more potential in two similar layers in Sakarya Gas Field. Turkey imports almost all its natural gas from the regional source countries, like Russia, Iran and Azerbaijan, paying annually more than $40 billion.
Stating that the works in the Sakarya Gas Field are being carried out meticulously and more precise figures will be announced in mid-October, the minister said: “We are not sharing any news with our people before we conclude all the engineering studies. We’ll do it as soon as we conclude them.”
The minister said the government is hopeful about new gas finds in the Black Sea as well as in the Mediterranean. “Our ultimate goal is to end our country’s energy dependency. It’s very important for a strong economy.”
Dönmez predicted that gas prices would drop eventually but said Turkey should first integrate its gas into the system by 2023.
[HH] Turkey’s position in east Med in line with international law
Speaking about Turkey’s hydrocarbon activities in the Mediterranean, Dönmez suggested that Turkey’s legal position is abiding by the international law. “Our works in the areas licensed for the Turkish Petroleum will continue. We have no eye on anybody’s rights or interests, but nobody should claim our rights either.”
Slamming Greece’s maximalist policies in the region, Dönmez pointed Turkey is the country with the longest shoreline in the eastern Mediterranean, and it’s one of the parameters in determining a country’s continental shelf.
“It wants a similar right for Meis Island, an island with just 9 or 10 square kilometers. By this, it wants to control a 40,000-kilometer-square area and tells that ‘You can’t enter here.’ We also say that we respect the territorial waters of the islands, but Turkey also has its rights in terms of international law,” he stated.
Dönmez recalled that France and the United Kingdom had confronted because of the latter’s Channel Islands in the late 1970s, where the international court ruled in favor of France.
“France, at that time, defended Turkey’s today’s thesis. Britain was in the position of today’s Greece, but the court delivered justice. This ruling sets an example,” he said.
Hurriyet Daily News