Turkey’s Fatih drillship started drilling its third exploration well in the Sakarya gas field in the Black Sea region, the country’s energy and natural resources minister said Wednesday.
The vessel will carry out its exploration for natural gas for 2-1/2 months at a depth of 5,000 meters (16,404 feet) below sea level at the is Karasu-1 well, Fatih Dönmez said on Twitter.
Located some 150 kilometers (93 miles) off the coast of Turkey in the Black Sea, the Sakarya gas field is home to the country’s largest-ever natural gas discovery. Fatih found 540 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas there since August 2020.
Ankara aims to start pumping the gas to the national grid in 2023, the centennial of the founding of modern Turkey, with sustained plateau production starting in 2027-2028.
Turkey currently has two seismic research ships, Oruç Reis and Barbaros Hayrettin Paşa, and three drillships, Fatih, Kanuni and Yavuz operating.
The three drilling vessels are expected to soon join hands and operate simultaneously in the Black Sea to expedite works to start using the natural gas discovered in the region.
Turkey recently added a fourth drilling ship to its inventory. The vessel is due to arrive soon and is expected to start its exploration activities this summer.
The country last month started delivering the pipes that will be used for the pipeline beneath the Black Sea to bring the gas onshore.
Scheduled to be constructed this year, the pipeline that will stretch around 170 kilometers will connect the wells in the region to the main grid.
Turkey is expected to kick start laying the deepwater pipe once all the tubes have been brought to the Port of Filyos in the northern Black Sea province of Zonguldak. The process is expected to take about five months.