Türkiye’s state oil company TPAO plans to open up to 20 oil rigs in the southeastern province of Şırnak following a large oil find in the Gabar area, the company’s CEO has said, adding that some 200 oil drilling rigs are also being planned across the country.
TPAO earlier this month announced the discovery of some 1 billion barrels of oil in the frontier Cudi-Gabar area, which represents the largest oil discovery onshore in Türkiye, with further prospects to be explored in the region.
“The new discovery in Şırnak is very crucial. We are planning to install 20 oil rigs within Şırnak,” Melih Han Bilgin, TPAO’s chairman and CEO, told reporters.
They are working on how to turn this oil discovery into an investment, Bilgin said. “Where do we need to build a refinery? … We are planning all this and taking necessary steps.”
They will pay attention to the regions where they could make new oil discoveries. “We particularly focus on [the provinces of] Diyarbakır, Batman and Adıyaman, as well as Erzurum, Ankara Hakkari and Manisa.”
Some 200 drilling rigs are planned across the country in 2023, according to Bilgin.
He responded to criticism from the opposition parties that the oil find was announced just ahead of the May 14 elections.
“Last year, our production reached the highest level ever. Our total production, including domestic and abroad, amounted to $6.1 billion or 180,000 barrels,” Bilgin said.
They produce oil at the old wells with new technologies, Bilgin added.
The oil reserves found in the Gabar area will meet 12 percent of Türkiye’s needs, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Dönmez said last week.
The daily production capacity at the Gabar field is around 100,000 barrels, Dönmez said, adding that the output will increase to some 180,000 barrels.
In his earlier remarks, Bilgin informed that the economic value of the newly found oil in Gabar is around $70 billion to $80 billion.
TPAO also works with foreign partners in international projects, the company executive told reporters.
“We have projects in Azerbaijan, Russia, Iraq, northern Cyprus and Libya. We are exploring natural gas and oil all over the world.”
Total production from TPAO’s operations in Azerbaijan, Iraq and Russia is 110,000 barrels, Bilgin said, stressing that TPOA’s production inside Türkiye is around 70,000 barrels alone.