On August 21, 2020, Turkish President Recep Erdogan announced the discovery of 320 billion cubic meters of natural gas reserves in the Tuna-1 well at the Sakarya Gas Field, located around 170 km offshore in the Black Sea.
The discovery is close to the Neptun Deep block in Romania, where the Domino field was discovered in 2012 at a water depth of 930 meters.
The Fatih drillship, which began operations in the area on July 20, 2020, discovered the well after only one month of drilling work. Drilled with TPAO’s Fatih 6th generation drillship in 2,117 m of water, the well reached total depth of 4,775 m and encountered an additional 30 m gas-bearing reservoir in Early Pliocene-Late Miocene sands.
Turkish president Tayyip Erdogan at the time hailed the find as "the biggest discovery of Turkey's history."
TPAO (Türkiye Petrolleri Anonim Ortaklığı) operates the giant Sakarya ultra-deepwater gas field. Sakarya is a project of immense national importance for Turkey, which is hugely reliant on energy imports. TPAO has 100% equity in the block.
Sakarya's development would certainly reduce the potential Turkish market for gas from existing pipeline suppliers Russia, Iran and Azerbaijan, and potential suppliers like Iraqi Kurdistan and even Israel.
Turkey aims to produce first gas from the Sakarya field by 2023. However, some experts find this goal is not realistic.