Turkey’s state oil company has unveiled another major deep-water gas discovery in the Black Sea that will be incorporated into its two-phase $3.6 billion Sakarya gas project, which is due on stream in 2023.

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The fresh Amasra find in Block SC26 has boosted discovered gas reserves in this frontier play to 540 billion cubic metres, or about 19 trillion cubic feet, almost on a par with Chevron’s Leviathan gas discovery offshore Israel.

Gas from up to 40 subsea wells on Sakarya, in 2200 metres of water, will be sent to an onshore processing plant at Filyos in Zonguldak province via a pair of 155-kilometre pipelines.

Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) said the Amasra-1 probe hit 135 Bcm — equivalent to about 4.77 Tcf — in 1938 metres of water, having been drilled to a total depth of 3850 metres.

The find was announced on television on Friday by Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who was in Zonguldak.

Erdogan also hoped that more discoveries would be announced.

“Drilling operations around (the well) continue (and), god willing, we expect new good news from this region,” he added.

TPAO chief executive Melih Han Bilgin said: “The new discovery in this world-class Black Sea basin” is a result of “state-of-the-art” seismic inversion technology used by “our Sakarya sub-surface team".

The Amasra probe was drilled by TPAO’s Fatih drillship, which had previously completed two earlier wells — Turkali-1 and Turkali-2 — on Sakarya.

Fatih is currently drilling Turlaki-3 having completed the Amasra-1 probe last month.

Last month, TPAO’s newly acquired drillship Kanuni arrived on location to carry out production tests on the two Turkali wells and also on the Tuna-1 probe which discovered Sakarya.

Phase one gas exports from Sakarya are due to come from six to 10 wells producing up to 10 billion cubic metres per annum — equivalent to 1 billion cubic feet per day — via a 16-inch diameter pipeline to shore.

Phase two aims to boost annual production capacity to 40 Bcm through a 24-inch diameter line to Filyos and up to 30 new subsea wells.