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Erdoğan Gets Treasure

In what may be seen as a huge boost for Turkey, Ankara has discovered an enormous oil field, with net reserves of 150 million barrels worth nearly USD 12 billion. The field is situated in the mountainous area of Gabar in south-eastern Province of Şırnak.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan made a revelation in this regard during a Cabinet meeting on December 12, 2022. The President claimed that the newly discovered oil field is one of 10 important fields located onshore Turkey. He told the Cabinet: “It is one of the top 10 onshore discoveries in 2022. The reserve value is approximately USD 12 billion.

According to the President, Turkey produces 5,000 barrels of very high-quality oil per day in four wells in Şırnak, where the new discovery has been made. Meanwhile, Ankara plans to increase its daily output to 100,000 barrels in 2023 when Turkey will mark its centenary. The President stressed that the daily production of the state-owned oil and gas company Turkish Petroleum increased to 65,000 barrels from around 40,000 barrels in the last five years.

The Administration of President Erdoğan has decided to strengthen offshore oil and gas exploration, as the transcontinental country (located mainly on the Anatolian Peninsula in Western Asia, with a small portion on the Balkan Peninsula in Southeast Europe) is heavily dependent on Russia and Iran for fuel. Currently, Ankara imports 44% of its oil and gas from Moscow alone.

During the Cabinet meeting, President Erdoğan stated: “While many oil and natural gas companies were throwing in the towel during the COVID-19 Pandemic, Turkish Petroleum accelerated its exploration and production activities. With 34 more discoveries in 2021 alone, we added another 71 million barrels to our current reserve.” He made it clear that Ankara would try its best to become an important regional energy hub, as the production in natural gas fields, discovered in the Black Sea in 2020, would begin in 2023.

In recent times, Turkey has emerged as a new route for Russian oil supplies to the European Union (EU) due to the Gas Hub project. The project has also helped Ankara increase its imports of Russian crude since the beginning the war between Russia and Ukraine on February 24, 2022. The oil is subsequently processed in Turkey, and the Turkish ships supply the refined oil products to the EU and the US.

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