Turkey: Erdogan launches first Black Sea gas deliveries
Turkey officially starts production of natural gas from its largest field in the Black Sea on Thursday (April 20th). Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who will preside over a ceremony in Zonguldak province, is listing the event as part of his campaign for the May 14 elections. © VIOLETA SANTOS MOURA - REUTERS
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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan launched on Thursday (April 20th) the first deliveries of Turkish gas from a Black Sea field, a few weeks before the general elections.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks of a "historic step on the road to Turkey's energy independence". "When we reach our full capacity, we will meet 30% of our country's gas needs" thanks to the Black Sea reserves, promised the Turkish president at a ceremony in Zonguldak broadcast live on television. Last year, 40% of the gas consumed in Turkey came from Russia. It also imports gas from Azerbaijan and Iran, prompting Ankara to look for ways to diversify its supplies, especially after the outbreak of Russia's war against Ukraine last year.
In 2020, during the discovery of this field located 165 kilometers from the coast and more than two kilometers below sea level, the Turkish president had described it as "the largest natural gas field in the history" of the Republic of Turkey. He then reported "reserves estimated at 320 billion cubic meters".
Less than a month before the elections, Recep Tayyip Erdogan is making his campaign a show of strength and focusing on the major projects accomplished under his presidency, notes our correspondent in Istanbul, Anne Andlauer. In addition to a reduction in Turkey's energy dependence, the Turkish president also promises thanks to Black Sea gas a reduction in gas bills, which last year increased by 164% for individuals. Inflation in the country is 50.5% year-on-year and the pound is in free fall, making the cost of living difficult for most Turks to bear.
The field is initially expected to supply 10 million cubic meters of gas per day, before producing four times as much in four or five years. Gas from the Sakarya field is expected to arrive in Turkish homes in early May. The country also plans to export part of its production, especially to European countries facing energy shortages following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
► Read also: Turkey dreams of becoming a gas hub
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