Turkey’s Black Sea Natural Gas Find is No Economic Miracle
Stephen Blank – CG Policy
Turkey’s announcement of a large natural gas find in the Black Sea, demonstrates it aspiration to become a major player in the energy sphere. But the discovery is insufficient for the country to become energy independent, and other constraints mean it is unlikely to stop its aggressive foreign policy moves.
Energy issues lie at the heart of Turkey’s aggressive quest for great power status throughout the Eastern Mediterranean and the Levant. This fact makes President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Aug. 21 announcement of the biggest natural gas find in Turkish history highly important. In his announcement, Erdogan said the find constituted 320 billion cubic meters (bcm) and is part of a much larger source. Turkey says it expects to make gas from the find available to the market in 2023.
Despite the hype, this discovery on its own does not resolve Turkey’s gas issues. Indeed, it is by no means clear that this amount of gas can be turned over to the market, let alone that abundant linked reserves are sitting in the Black Sea waiting for Turkey to discover them. Neither is it obvious that this discovery will moderate Turkey’s aggressive behavior in the Eastern Mediterranean.
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