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Castoro 10 arrives in Black Sea as Sakarya aims for 2023

© Supplied by Turkish VP Fuat OktaMen point at diagram of pipeline route
Saipem's Castoro 10 has crossed through the Dardanelles to begin work laying pipelines for Turkey's Sakarya field, aiming for first gas in 2023. Picture shows; VP Oktay and energy minister Fatih Donmez inspect plans at the Filyos site. Filyos, Turkey. Supplied by Turkish VP Fuat Oktay Date; 28/05/2022

Saipem’s Castoro 10 has crossed through the Dardanelles to begin work laying pipelines for Turkey’s Sakarya field, aiming for first gas in the first quarter of 2023.

Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Fatih Donmez said the arrival of the ship moved the country “one step closer to the target”. State-backed TPAO believes Sakarya holds 540 billion cubic metres of gas.

Onshore pipe construction is due to start on June 10. TPAO expects to begin deepwater pipe laying in July. The finds are in water depths of around 2,200 metres.

Donmez visited the Filyos onshore gas processing site at the end of May. The plan is to install around 170 km of pipe to link the field to the onshore site.

Speaking at the end of May, Donmex said the pipes would all be ready for installation in June.

Commenting on previous drilling, he said the Türkali-1 well, on Sakarya, had flowed at 1.7 million cubic metres per day and the Türkali-2 at 2.6 mcm. The country expects production from wells will average 3 mcm per day.

Expansion plans

TPAO has three drillships working on the project. The Kanuni, the Yavuz and the Fatih. The latter was previously the Deepsea Metro II, which TPAO bought in 2017.

It acquired a fourth rig, the Cobalt Explorer, in November 2021, from a South Korean builder after Vantage Drilling was unable to complete its purchase. The rig arrived in Turkey in May. It is expected to operate in the Black Sea.

Donmez said the new rig was currently anchored in Mersin and would be ready to begin drilling in two months.

Recent high gas prices have put Turkey under pressure, the minister said, heightening the need for domestic supplies. Energy prices are driving global inflation, Donmez said. “Unfortunately, we are among the countries that have been adversely affected by this situation.”

Turkey is working on plans to expand its Silivri gas storage facility and it plans to commission its Saros FSRU this year.

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