East Med: Turkish TRAO ‘unravels’ its strategy

East Med: Turkish TRAO ‘unravels’ its strategy

On April 6, 2017, the Turkish Energy Minister presented the country’s “National Energy Strategy” in Istanbul, promising that energy security is a priority.

By applying the “National Energy Strategy”, Turkey would begin with seismic surveys to locate oil and gas fields, in order to be able to continue with research drillings if the exploratory ones have positive results.

The plan was that explorations in the Black Sea and the Mediterranean would have begun already since 2017.

For Turkey the goal was not and is not other than to highlight its geostrategic value, taking the first place in the energy game that is in progress in the region.

Also, based on its plans, Turkey should focus on domestic production, including Renewable Energy Sources.

This is the same strategy Turkey keeps sticking to.

Following the “National Energy Strategy” guidelines, research vessel Barbaros Hayrettin Paşa, which Turkey bought from Norway in 2013, began the collection of seismic data on April 21, 2017, when the construction of the other research vessel MTA Oruç Reis was nearly finished at a shipyard in Istanbul.

At the same time, given the increasing demand and consumption of gas, Turkey is seeking to upgrade its liquefied natural gas storage facilities and re-gasification gas plants.

The country’s “National Energy Strategy” provided for the setting up of two new gas re-gasification units, one in Hatay province, just opposite the Northern part of Cyprus (one wonders ‘why’?), and the second in the Gallipolis peninsula, in eastern Thrace, just a stone’s throw from the corresponding floating unit that Greece plans to create in Alexandroupolis.

The first corresponding unit operates since December 2016, off the coasts of Izmir. In less than six months, the re-gasification unit in Hatay province has already been set up, allowing Turkey to proceed with gas exports as long as domestic needs have been met.

The completion of the Trans-Anatolian Pipeline pipeline (TANAP) aiming at transferring gas from Georgia to Azerbaijan to Turkey is expected to be completed in 2018.

Turkish minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Berat Albayrak: “The biggest floating LNG unit in the world is in Turkey”  

This is what Albayrak said to Sabah newspaper on February 14, 2018.

According to figures released by Turkey’s state-run hydrocarbon company, TRAO is scheduled to launch the first exploration drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean within 2018.

In December, the newest technologically wise vessel that Turkey purchased arrived to its final destination, the port of Kocaeli, in the Marmara Sea, from Norway. The vessel is able to drill in the open sea and at great depths.

“Once necessary procedures are over, the vessel will begin its mission and will engage in the first drilling in the Mediterranean Sea, Albayrak underlined, last December, during a visit of his onto the vessel. Minister Albayrak also emphasized that more than 60 percent of the world’s oil and natural gas resources are located in Turkey’s region, noting that the country is entering a new era, taking signifıcant steps to realise new investments in energy.

“In adherence to our responsibilities as the most stable and strong country in the region, Turkey, which is surrounded by resources rich in energy, will continue to work decisively and determinedly in the upcoming period,” the minister said…/IBNA

Main Photo: Berat Albayrak