Turkey seeks hidden energy sources under the earth

Turkey's dependence on foreign suppliers for its ever-increasing energy needs is gradually becoming ameliorated as more fields are explored.

Turkey seeks hidden energy sources under the earth
Turkey's dependence on foreign suppliers for its ever-increasing energy needs is gradually becoming ameliorated as more fields are explored.

8.7 percent of the crude oil and 2.6 of natural gas consumed by Turkey in the first half of 2007 were covered by domestic production -- the rest came from foreign suppliers. These figures were 6 percent and 1 percent, respectively, just a year ago.

In the first six months of the year, the amount of crude oil and natural gas consumed in Turkey reached 12.3 million barrels and 18.12 billion cubic meters, respectively. Domestically there are 862 oil wells and 163 natural gas deposits that still probe the earth in search of fuel-based resources. Local production is an issue that gets much priority in Turkey since its energy bill is swelling as a side effect of the soaring oil and gas prices hovering above $70 per barrel. Last year $29 billion was the amount of money Turkey paid for oil and natural gas imports

Looking back over the past 10 years, local crude oil production, which was 3.4 million barrels in 1997, decreased to 2.7 million by 2000, 2.2 million in 2004 and 2.1 million in 2006. During the first six month of 2007, 1.05 million barrels were produced in Turkey. As for natural gas, local production has been ever increasing with yearly figures as follows: 253.2 million cubic meters in 1997; 564.5 million in 1998; 731.1 million in 1999; 639.2 million in 2000; 311.2 million in 2001; 560.6 million in 2003; 896.4 million in 2005; 906.6 million in 2006; and 463.9 million cubic meters in the first half of 2007.

Crude oil consumption in Turkey was around 28.2 million tons in 1997, while that figure grew to 29.9 million in both 2002 and 2003. In 2006 crude oil consumption was 29.9 million tons and the first half of 2007 saw usage of 12.2 million tons. While crude oil consumption didn't vary widely, natural gas usage increased by 212 percent between 1997 and 2006, going from 10.7 billion cubic meters to 31.4 billion. In the first half of 2007 18.1 billion cubic meters were consumed.

Throughout the last 10 years prospecting for oil and natural gas continued in most Turkish regions, excluding Central Anatolia. A total of 587 wells were opened between Jan.1, 1997 and July 31, 2007, 146 of them ending up as oil wells while 161 of them produced gas. Production has continued in 261 of the wells that were established as of June 2007.

According to research and production operations operated by the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO), a total of 25 wells were dug in fields swept of mines that are in close proximity to the Syrian border's zero point. Although 21 of these wells contain oil, they still aren't yielding an abundance of oil. TPAO officials told Anatolia news agency yesterday that the wells in question on a daily basis produce between 30 and 40 barrels per day but said "one shouldn't forget that small amounts add up over time to have important consequences."

Black Sea looks promising

Each day TPAO produces 30,000 barrels of oil and between 7,000 and 8,000 barrels of crude oil equivalent natural gas. The TPAO officials noted that they expect to succeed in the Black Sea, adding: "The probability of finding oil in the Black Sea is 10 percent -- a decent number for oil prospecting. Our corporate operations with BP in the open sea around Hopa [a port city in Turkey's Black Sea region] turned out satisfactory. We have seen signs of petroleum there, and once the reserves we anticipate are reached, the Black Sea could provide 15 percent of the oil consumed in Turkey."

A TPAO official, opting to remain anonymous, said they could never expect an amount as high as in the petroleum-rich countries, but the Black Sea still has many untouched areas. Also, certain fields in Trakya may prove capable of providing natural gas production along with oil in Southeast Anatolia. TPAO also noted that they are about to start the drilling process in a location called North Cide in the open seas above Kastamonu. The depth of sea in the region is 650 meters drilling will reach as far as 2,500 meters into the earth below. Officials emphasized that this is deepest water drilling ever operated under TPAO's leadership.

Today's Zaman
Last Mod: 14 Ağustos 2007, 12:58
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