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Turkey shale gas hopes draw growing interest
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Monday, 25 Feb 2013
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Turkey is hoping to find shale gas reserves big enough to help reduce its energy import dependency and is in talks with foreign firms about widening exploration after encouraging early signs.

The government is hoping that major shale gas reserves lie in basins in its southeast, east and western Thrace regions and several firms, including smaller players already looking for conventional oil and gas are keen to explore.

With domestic gas consumption rising and its geographic location meaning it is also well placed to supply international markets, major exploitable reserves could be a game changer for Turkey’s economy and highly lucrative for whoever finds them.

Mr Taner Yildiz energy minister of Turkey said that “We are keen to exploit this method and we must make economic use of shale gas. Shell is drilling for shale gas in the region around the southeastern city of Diyarbakir, while Canadian firm TransAtlantic Petroleum is also active in the region.”

One senior energy ministry official said that companies from the UK, US and Canada are keen on shale gas production in Turkey. These firms are in close contact with Turkish companies to obtain licences and to collaborate with them. They are also talking to state firms and are drawing up projections on possible sites and what can be done in the near future.

Officials said that at least one foreign company was expected to sign an agreement for shale gas exploration this year. Estimates of how big Turkey’s shale gas reserves might be vary wildly.

One senior energy official said that data from some international bodies suggested Turkey could have a massive 20 trillion cubic metres of total reserves. Another industry expert said proven reserves so far stood at just 6 billion cubic metres to 7 billion cubic metres.

According to the US Energy Information Administration, in Ukraine, that compares to an estimated 1.2 trillion cubic metres where Shell signed a landmark $10 billion shale gas deal last month.

Mr Andy Brown Shell’s Upstream International Director said that at present it is not possible to predict Turkey’s shale gas reserves. Shell would complete its exploration in Diyarbakir by the end of the year. We will be able to make an assessment only after we complete the first well, and then we’ll be able to see the full picture.

Source - The News.com

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