All seven Turkish gas wells drilled in East Med uneconomic

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Istanbul — All seven of the gas wells drilled to date by Turkey in the East Mediterranean have proven to be uneconomic, Turkey’s energy minister Fatih Donmez said Sept. 23 in a TV interview.

Despite the absence of commercial reserves, Donmez said that all the wells drilled to date had provided important information on the geology of the area and that drilling of an eighth well by the drillship Yavuz was continuing.

He said upstream operator TPAO was operating according to a “long-term drilling program” in both the East Mediterranean and the Black Sea and that further wells would be drilled.

The Yavuz is currently located in Cyprus’ block 6, southwest of the island, while Turkey’s second drillship Yavuz continues to drill in the Black Sea where it made a 320 Bcm discovery last month at the Sakarya field.

There has been international condemnation of Turkey’s exploration offshore Cyprus, with the EU considering the possibility of imposing new sanctions against Ankara because of its drilling program there.

Turkey does not release details of drilling operations, but the Fatih is believed to have drilled at least two wells in marine areas claimed both by Cyprus and the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus — recognized only by Ankara.

The Yavuz is believed to have previously drilled in Cyprus’ Block 7 and Block 9.