Türkiye’s drillship fleet on simultaneous duty in Black Sea, Med - M5 Dergi
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Türkiye’s drillship fleet on simultaneous duty in Black Sea, Med

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Türkiye’s entire fleet of drilling ships has been dispatched and is currently on duty in the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, the operator said, as Ankara ramps up efforts to advance its hydrocarbon exploration activities.

Türkiye officially boasts a fleet of four drilling ships, after Abdülhamid Han, the latest and most advanced of the vessels, arrived in mid-May. The seventh-generation vessel joined Fatih, Kanuni and Yavuz, all sixth-generation ships purchased in recent years.

The four vessels are currently “on duty at the same time,” the state energy company Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) said on Twitter.

The Fatih, Yavuz and Kanuni are on missions in the Black Sea, home to Türkiye’s largest-ever natural gas discovery, while the Abdülhamid Han is in the Mediterranean, said TPAO, which owns and operates the vessels.

All four ships are named after Ottoman sultans.

“The Fatih started drilling operations in the Türkali-11 well. The Yavuz continues gas flow tests in the Türkali-12 well. The Kanuni started the sub-completion operation in the Türkali-10 well,” the company said.

“The Abdülhamid Han continues drilling in the Taşucu-1 well in the Mediterranean. Our activities in our seas continue at full speed,” it added.

The hydrocarbon exploration activities are aimed at contributing to Türkiye’s efforts to wean off its dependence on energy imports. Türkiye is still highly dependent on imports to cover its energy needs, whose price has rocketed following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Last year, 45% of the gas used in Türkiye came from Russia and the rest from Iran and Azerbaijan. Türkiye’s annual gas consumption has risen from 48 billion cubic meters (bcm) in 2020 to a record 60 bcm in 2021, according to official figures.

Meanwhile, Türkiye is preparing to start streaming the natural gas from the reserve it discovered in Black Sea waters.

Work on the gas reserve discovered in the Sakarya gas field, located offshore the northern province of Zonguldak, has been fast-tracked as the country seeks to cover its needs in the years to come.

Due to stream next year, the field is slated to hold around 540 bcm of gas that was gradually discovered since August 2020. Türkiye looks to start pumping the gas to its main grid as soon as March of 2023.

Türkiye looks to transfer 10 million cubic meters (mcm) of gas per day as of the first quarter of next year and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said the production would reach its peak by 2026.

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