Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday said that Turkey has discovered significant natural gas reserves in the Black Sea.
"Our Fatih drilling ship has discovered 320 billion cubic meters of natural gas reserves in Tuna-1 well," Erdogan said in a televised speech from the Dolmabahce Palace here.
"Turkey has made the biggest natural gas discovery in its history," he noted, adding that new natural gas discoveries in the same region would be highly likely in the near future, Xinhua news agency reported.
"We aim to provide the Black Sea gas to use in 2023," he added.
The Fatih vessel started its drilling activities in late July in an exploration zone known as Tuna-1 off the northern Zonguldak province in the Black Sea region.
The Turkish leader also said Turkey would accelerate its drilling activities in the Mediterranean Sea.
"We hope to have similar good news from the Mediterranean as well," he stressed, noting that his country would not cease its efforts until it would be a net energy exporter.
"We are determined to fully resolve our energy issue," the President stressed.
Turkey and its NATO ally Greece have long been at odds over the energy resources in the Mediterranean as Ankara has been opposing the drilling efforts of several countries there without its involvement.
Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Donmez said the analysis revealed that the quality of the discovered gas in the Black Sea is remarkably high.
"This will have a positive impact on the costs in the upcoming period," Donmez said in a live broadcast from the Fatih vessel.
The Minister also noted that another 6,000 square kilometres of seismic work would be carried out in the region to discover more gas..