Dubai, 18 October (Argus) — Turkey has upped its reserves estimate for its recent Sakarya gas discovery in the Black Sea after exploration work by state-owned TPAO revealed a second reservoir.

The offshore field, which was discovered in August, was originally dubbed Tuna-1 and estimated by TPAO to hold about 320bn m³ of commercially viable gas. Turkish president Tayyip Erdogan at the time hailed the find as “the biggest discovery of Turkey’s history.”

But TPAO said yesterday that a new exploration well that was drilled in water depths of around 2,110m, to a total depth of 4,775m, encountered a new 30m gas bearing reservoir. This brought the total commercially viable gas reserves figure up 27pc to 405bn m³.

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Journalists walk next to the drilling ship ‘Yavuz’ scheduled to search for oil and gas off Cyprus, at the port of Dilovasi, outside Istanbul. Photographer: Bulent Kilic/Getty Images

The “Sakarya field will be the first game changer and hopefully be followed by other discoveries in [the] Eastern Black Sea and Mediterranean,” TPAO chairman and chief executive Melih Han Bilgin said.

TPAO said it plans to drill two appraisal wells at the field using the Fatih drillship, while well tests will be carried out by a second drillship, Kanuni.

The company has already set out its ambition to produce its first gas from the field in early-2023 and has already signed a pre-front end engineering and design contract for the concept selection process. If successful, this could substantially cut Turkey’s dependence on gas imports.

The country’s gas demand fell to 45bn m³ last year from 49bn m³ in 2018, with imports from Russia, Iran and Azerbaijan, as well as deliveries of LNG.

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