Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan is poised to imminently revise upwards the reserves of the newly discovered Sakarya gas field in the Black Sea.

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Erdogan will on Saturday make a new announcement on the size of the reserves when he visits the drillship Fatih, which sunk the discovery well Tuna-1.

Bigger than 11.3 Tcf?

Erdogan estimated the Sakarya reserves at 320 billion cubic metre (11.3 trillion cubic feet) when he first unveiled the Sakarya find, which lies 100 miles north of the Turkish coast.

Energy-poor Turkey is planning to bring the field on stream in 2023 as part of a fast-track programme.

“On Saturday we will go to the Fatih drillship and announce the new reserve amount,” Erdogan told his ruling AK Party lawmakers in parliament.

He also said another Turkish drillship, Kanuni, had set off towards the Black Sea to begin operations there. It was not clear whether Kanuni will work in the same field as Fatih.

A successful development of the Sakarya discovery would see a welcome reduction in Turkey’s energy import bill, which stood at $41 billion last year.

It will also reduce gas imports from neighbouring countries such as Russia and Iran and help soften the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on an economy plagued by a chronic current account deficit and high levels of foreign debt.