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Turkey finds more gas reserves in Black Sea, says Erdogan

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Ankara:Turkey has found more gas reserves in the Black Sea, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.

“As a result of testing, analysis and detailed engineering work, an additional 85 billion cubic meters were added to the reserves we had discovered,” Erdogan said on board the Black Sea drilling vessel Fatih on Saturday.

“The total amount of natural gas reserves in the Tuna-1 well of the Sakarya gas field has reached 405 billion cubic meters,” he added.

In August, the drillship discovered 320 billion cubic meters of natural gas reserves, Xinhua News Agency reported.

The ship Fatih began drilling activities at the end of July in an exploration area known as Tuna-1 off the northern province of Zonguldak in the Black Sea region.

The president’s announcement came after the Turkish seismic survey vessel Oruc Reis sailed to the eastern Mediterranean to resume operations on October 12.

According to the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Fatih Donmez, the ship weighed anchor to “take the radiograph of the Mediterranean” after the completion of its maintenance work.

Turkey last month withdrew Oruc Reis from its operating zone to a port in Antalya province for its monthly maintenance and supplies.

The vessel has so far collected a total of 3,525 km of seismic data in the Mediterranean Sea.

Both developments came amid heightened tensions in the region, with Greece contesting Turkey’s rights to energy exploration in the eastern Mediterranean, Hurriyet Daily News reported.

Ankara has sent drill ships to explore for energy on its continental shelf, asserting its rights in the region as well as those of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

The countries of the European Union have tried to play a mediating role between Turkey and Greece on their contradictory demands.

Turkey says claims to Greece’s maritime territory in the region, based on small islands near the Turkish coast, violate international law.

Greece and Turkey are both members of NATO, but have a history of border disputes and competing claims over maritime rights.

(With contributions from IANS)

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