Turkey says hopeful for new gas finds in East Med, Black Sea soon

Turkey is soon expecting to announce new gas discoveries in the eastern Mediterranean and Black seas, Energy Minister Faith Dönmez said on Saturday.

A new floating storage and re-gasification vessel,which Turkey sought on the orders of the Turkish president, will arrive in the country by the end of the year, Turkish public broadcaster TRT quoted Dönmez as saying during a commemoration ceremony for the founder of the Ottoman Empire in the northwestern province of Bilecik.

“The days when we will receive new good news from the Black Sea and the eastern Mediterranean are around the corner,” Dönmez said.

The minister’s remarks arrive a last month after Turkey announced the discovery of some 320 billion cubic metres of natural gas reserves in off its Black Sea coast, which President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan hailed as the largest in the country’s history.

The announcement coincides with ongoing tensions with neighbouring Greece and Cyprus over hydrocarbon resources in the eastern Mediterranean, where Turkey dispatched the seismic survey vessel Oruç Reis to an area of sea claimed by both sides. The move has enraged Greece and prompted the European Union to call for Ankara to halt its activities in the maritime sub-region.

“If the desire of non-regional actors, who have no rights in the eastern Mediterranean, lead to irresponsible behaviour, then they will surely get their response,’’ Dönmez said.

At a summit at the French island of Corsica on Thursday, the leaders of Greece, Cyprus, France, Italy, Malta, Portugal, and Spain issued a joint declaration, expressing full support and solidarity towards Greece and Cyprus against what they called was Turkey’s violation of their sovereign rights in the eastern Mediterranean.