Turkey’s politics-first drilling campaign in the eastern Mediterranean (MEES, 9 October 2020) has been quiet for several months. But in the Black Sea state-firm TPAO has been pressing full steam ahead with its exploration and development activities. In yet another boon for Turkey’s hopes of becoming a significant gas producer, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on 4 June said the Fatih drillship had made a 135bcm (4.8tcf) discovery with the Amasra-1 well.

The new field, which TPAO is calling ‘North Sakarya,’ lies in the same block as the country’s “game-changing” Sakarya discovery last year which is estimated to hold some 405bcm (14.3tcf) of gas (MEES, 23 October 2020). This brings total discoveries on the block up to 540bcm (19.1tcf), but questions remain over how much of this is likely to prove recoverable. TPAO says North Sakarya will be tied into existing plans to develop Sakarya field which has an extremely ambitious 2023 start-up target. Turkey, which has no previous experience in managing a project of such size, has said it will develop the Sakarya alone. It targets some 350mn cfd (3.65bcm/y) in the first phase, rising to around 1.4bn cfd in the second phase (MEES, 19 March). (CONTINUED - 194 WORDS)