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Turkey reportedly makes natural gas discovery in Black Sea

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said he will make an announcement on Friday that will usher in 'a new era' for the country
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gestures to his supporters as he delivers a speech on 13 August (AFP)
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Ankara

Turkey is reported to have discovered an energy resource, likely natural gas, in the Black Sea, several news agencies reported on Wednesday.

A Turkish official confirmed that an energy source had been discovered but declined to elaborate.

Meanwhile, a Bloomberg report, citing two people with knowledge of the matter, said the discovery was made in the Black Sea.

A Haberturk daily report said that Turkey's Fatih-1 drilling ship discovered gas in two separate locations, near the Danube river and in the Kiyikoy region along Thrace's shores. 

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Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said earlier on Wednesday that he would announce "very good" news on Friday which would usher in "a new era" for the country.

"If I announce it now, the excitement would disappear," he said.

Following Erdogan's remarks, shares in the refinery company Tupras and petrochemical manufacturer Petkim jumped significantly, triggering speculation that Erdogan would announce the discovery of an oil or gas reserve.

Timothy Ash, a strategist at BlueBay Asset Management in London, said while "there have been gas discoveries in the Black Sea before - but of a limited scale - given its $35-50bn annual energy import bill, Turkey needs something big to be a game changer."

In June, Turkish Energy Minister Fatih Donmez said drilling activities would be focusing in areas off the coast of Zonguldak, some 270km north of Ankara.

"The experts from Turkish petroleum said seismic data from the region called Tuna-1 is promising," he said at the time.

Turkey has been exploring for energy resources in the Black Sea for several years. Ankara doesn't have any significant carbon energy resources, and is a net energy importer.