Türkiye Petrolleri Anonim Ortaklığı (TPAO) has commissioned the Sakarya gas field development project in the Black Sea, which is considered the first deepwater gas field discovery and the biggest natural gas reserve in Turkish waters.

The Sakarya field is expected to yield 10 million cubic metres of natural gas in the first phase. Through the drilling of additional wells, its production could grow subsequently to 40 million cubic metres.

According to TPAO, the Sakarya gas field is located within Block C26 in the western Black Sea, 165km off the coast of Filyos in Zonguldak province. The field is located within the Turkey exclusive economic zone, and in a depth of nearly 2,200m.

The project’s commissioning ceremony was attended by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Erdoğan said: “We will be able to meet nearly 30 percent of our country’s total annual need once we reach full capacity.

“This project will not only help us to substantially reduce our country’s foreign dependency in natural gas but it will also make Filyos and Zonguldak an important energy, technology and logistics base.”

Phase 1 involves the production of natural gas by using the subsea production system from 10 wells. The gas will be transported onshore via a 16inch diameter carbon steel pipeline and will be processed at an onshore production facility in in Çaycuma district in Zonguldak.

In phase 2, up to 30 new wells will be drilled, which will be connected to the subsea production system. A new pipeline with a diameter of 24 inches or more will be installed for transporting the additional gas drawn from phase 2.

TPAO announced the gas discovery in August 2020 following the drilling of the Tuna-1 well in the Sakarya Block by the Fatih drillship in a water depth of 2,115m.

The Turkish state-owned oil and gas company drilled the Tuna-1 well to a total depth of 4,525m where it encountered over 100m of the natural gas-bearing reservoir in Pliocene and Miocene sands.

In late 2021, TPAO awarded an integrated engineering, procurement, construction, and installation contract for phase 1 of the Sakarya gas field development project to a consortium of Subsea7 and Schlumberger. Wood was appointed as the management partner of the offshore gas project.