Turkey's Black Sea gas field still to go online next year, Erdogan says

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan addresses members of parliament from his ruling AK Party (AKP) during a meeting at the Turkish parliament in Ankara, Turkey, November 2, 2022. Murat Cetinmuhurdar/PPO/Handout via REUTERS

ISTANBUL, Nov 12 (Reuters) - Turkey's Black Sea gas field is on track to go online next year as promised and work has sped up to connect it to the national infrastructure, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday.

Addressing a natural gas pipeline opening in the northern Kastamonu province, Erdogan said drilling at 9 of the ten wells in the first phase of the seabed Sakarya gas field was complete.

"Hopefully we'll start using this gas next year," Erdogan said via video.

Turkey discovered natural gas off its northern coast in 2020 and since estimated volumes at 540 billion cubic metres (bcm).

Turkey built an "energy base" in Sakarya, and it will become a benchmark marketplace for natural gas with the inclusion of domestic supplies, Erdogan said.

"We're preparing to build an advanced natural gas marketplace where multiple products, multiple contracts come together to form reference prices."

Erdogan did not mention Russia in his speech.

In recent weeks, Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeated that a natural gas hub could be set up in Turkey fairly quickly, forecasting many European customers would emerge in such a marketplace.

Reporting by Azra Ceylan; editing by David Evans

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.