Turkey is set to lay the first pipes of the pipeline network that will transport the natural gas it had discovered in the Black Sea, as it aims to begin pumping the gas at the beginning of 2023.
After crossing through the Çanakkale Strait, also known as the Dardanelles, the Saipem pipelay vessel Castoro 10 on Tuesday arrived in Filyos port in the northern Black Sea province of Zonguldak to begin the work of laying pipelines for Turkey’s Sakarya field.
Located some 150 kilometers (93 miles) off the coast of Turkey in the Black Sea, the gas field is home to the country’s largest-ever natural gas discovery. Its Fatih drillship discovered 540 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas there in August 2020.
Onshore pipe construction is due to start on Friday. The 140-meterlong (459-feetlong) Castoro 10 will be responsible for laying and installing 5 kilometers of pipes.
State energy company Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) expects to begin deepwater pipelaying in July. The offshore pipelaying will be carried out by Saipem’s Casterone vessel.
The pipeline that will stretch around 170 kilometers and connect the wells in the region to the main grid will be laid at a water depth of 2,200 meters.
The whole process is expected to last for five months.
Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Dönmez said the arrival of Castoro 10 moved Turkey “one step closer to the target.”
Ankara aims to start pumping gas from the field to its main grid in the first quarter of 2023, with sustained plateau production starting in 2027 or 2028.
The work on the gas processing facility is also underway. Around 4,200 workers are said to be engaged in its construction process.