Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced the discovery of 135 billion cubic metres of natural gas in the south of the Black Sea, adding to previous discoveries last year.
Speaking at an opening ceremony in the Black Sea province of Zonguldak on Friday, Erdogan revealed that "Our Fatih drill ship made a discovery of 135 billion cubic metres of natural gas in the Amasra-1 borehole in the Sakarya gas field."
He added: "Our new drilling operations…continue, God willing we expect new good news from this region."
The president's announcement comes after he revealed last August the discovery of a massive 320 billion cubic metres of natural gas in the Tuna-1 area, followed by the discovery of another 85 billion cubic metres in October.
With this recent finding added to the existing 405 billion cubic metres, the total natural gas now found by Turkey amounts to 540 billion cubic metres.
According to Energy Minister Fatih Donmez, Ankara plans to enable the Sakarya field to reach full production status after a four-phase development programme. Gas will reportedly be pumped from the field to Turkey's main grid in 2023, with sustained plateau production starting in 2027 or 2028.
For such plans to work, a pipeline stretching at least 160 kilometres will reportedly need to be built to connect the main grid with new wells in the region, and a receiving station would also need to be constructed within two years.
Erdogan and his government hope that the discoveries of natural gas reserves will help relieve the nation's economic woes and allow it to be less dependent on imports of gas from foreign states such as Russia and Iran.