Fatih drillship has discovered 710 billion cubic meters of natural gas reserves over past 4 years
Türkiye’s first drillship Fatih (Conqueror), with its discoveries of huge natural gas reserves in recent years, is currently preparing for drillings at Filyos port in the city of Zonguldak in northwestern Türkiye, where it is temporarily anchored for routine maintenance.
Over the last decade, as part of attempts to minimize energy dependency, Türkiye has expanded its hydrocarbon exploration activities to its territorial seas, building a vast fleet of drilling and seismic research vessels to reduce its reliance on imported gas and oil.
The Fatih, Yavuz, Kanuni and Abdulhamid Han drillships have joined Türkiye’s energy fleet in the last six years to search for hydrocarbons in both the Black and Eastern Mediterranean seas.
The seismic research vessel Barbaros Hayreddin Pasha was added to the energy fleet in 2012, and the country’s second such vessel, Oruc Reis, was added in 2017.
– 710 bcm gas discoveries in Black Sea
Over the previous four years, Fatih has discovered more than 710 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas in the Tuna-1, Amasra-1 and Caycuma-1 wells in Türkiye’s territorial waters.
Fatih, the fleet’s first and most renowned drillship, is a sixth-generation ultra-deepwater drillship with a length of 229 meters (751 feet) and diameter of 36 meters (118 feet).
It was built in South Korea in 2011 and began drilling operations in 2017 within the Alanya-1 well in the Mediterranean Sea.
To enable the drillship to cross the Bosphorus, its rigs were disassembled. On June 6, the ship moored at Trabzon Port so that its towers could be put back together.
Fatih, which resumed operations following the preparatory procedure here, began the first national deep-sea drilling in the Black Sea on July 20 at the Tuna-1 location off the coast of Zonguldak, with a depth goal of 3,500-4,000 meters (11,483-13,123 feet).
Türkiye’s efforts to reduce its energy dependency bore fruit in 2020, when the country’s first natural gas discovery was made in the Black Sea in the Tuna-1 well, yielding 405 bcm of gas, followed by the world’s largest offshore find also that year.
It made another discovery in June 2021 in the Amasra-1 well, holding reserves of 135 bcm. The Amasra-1 well brought the total Black Sea gas reserves to 540 bcm, which was later revised up to 652 bcm.
In December 2022, a further 58 bcm of gas was found in the Caycuma-1 well in the southwestern part of the Black Sea, bringing the country’s total reserves to date to 710 bcm.
Still conducting its drilling mission in the western Black Sea, the ship has briefly anchored at Filyos port to meet its logistics needs and perform the necessary maintenance.