Turkey discovers Natural Gas reserves in Black Sea

On August 21, 2020, the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the discovery of large natural gas reserves in the Black Sea coast. According to the announcement made by the President, 320 billion cubic metres of natural gas has been discovered.

Highlights

Turkey is to start using the discovered natural gas by 2023. Though the discovery made is significant to Turkey, it is smaller as compared to the discoveries made in the eastern Mediterranean.

The discovery has come up in the middle of tensions between NATO allies Greece and Turkey are running high in disputed waters in eastern Mediterranean.

Turkey is highly dependent on Russia, Iran and Iraq for its energy resources. In 2019, the Turkish energy imports from these countries were 41 billion USD. Thus, the discovery of oil exploration will help to reduce its imports.

What is Greece-Turkish Conflict?

Currently, the major conflict between the countries is over gas. Recently, Turkey was drilling in the Turkish-occupied regions of Cyprus. The occupation of Turkey is not recognised by international community. Now, turkey claims exploitation rights in the region. Greece counters the claim as the drilling regions comes under Greece inhabited exclusive economic zones. According to UNCLOS, exclusive economic zone extends to 200-miles. Turkey is not a part of UNCLOS.

Natural Gas in India

The domestic natural gas in India is supplied from oil and gas fields in south eastern and western areas of Mumbai. It is also found in North Eastern region (Tripura and Assam). However, India imports 45% of its natural gas.

National Seismic Programme

The programme was launched in 2016 to trace hydrocarbon resources such as oil and natural gas.

National Gas Grid

The GoI has plans to develop a National Gas Grid. So far, 16,788 km of natural gas pipeline is operational. Around 14,239 km is being developed. The National Gas Grid will provide access to clean and green fuel throughout the country. It will connect major demand centres and will ensure availability of gas to consumers.

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