Turkey to intensify shale exploration efforts

Hürriyet /BloombergHT – Dependent on imported energy to feed its growing economy, Turkey looks to tap its domestic sources, both conventional and unconventional, as new reports indicate huge reserves of shale gas in the country’s European area, known as Eastern Thrace, and Southeastern Anatolia.

Turkey is estimated to hold a combined total of 4.6 trillion cubic meters of shale gas in Hamitabat Shale in the Thracian province of Kirikkale , and Dadas Shale, lying between Diyarbakir and Mardin in Southeastern Anatolia, according to a report by the U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA). The report states that at least 651 billion cubic meters of gas from the two basins are technically recoverable, enough to meet the country’s gas needs for 14 years.

Besides the known reserves in Western and Southeastern provinces, Turkey is thought to have a number of shale gas deposits in Central Anatolia, namely in Ankara, Konya and Nevsehir provinces, although accurate figures are unavailable as the mentioned areas have not been explored in detail.

“Turkey’s state-owned oil company Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) is working with Shell to explore for shale in Diyarbakir, Southeastern Turkey..”, Turkey’s Minister of Energy, Taner Yildiz said at the handover ceremony of the recently privatized Seyitomer Thermal Power Plant. “The growth rate of Turkey’s energy sector in 2012 is roughly the equivalent of seven years of energy sector growth in some European countries.”, he added, drawing attention to the government’s efforts to reduce the imports of natural gas and increase the use of domestic sources.

“Turkey has made significant progress in realizing its domestic energy potential with all known coal reserves being utilized. “Privatization tenders of coal mines in Adana, Manisa, Kütahya and Bingol provinces have received considerable interest from investors.” the Minister said.

Turkey also has a significant amount of coal reserves in Konya, Eskisehir and Afyonkarahisar which are being developed, he remarked.

Turkey plans to invest USD 100 billion in power generation, including building at least two nuclear power plants, over the next 10 years.

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