The Turkish drilling ship Faith began its search on July 20th, eventually finding the deposit in the Tuna-1 exploration well 150 miles off the coast of Turkey near its maritime borders with Romania and Bulgaria.
The discovery comes amidst tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean between Greece and Turkey, which recently sent a research ship to look for undersea gas and oil deposits in Greek territorial waters. France has sent military vessels to monitor the region in support of Greece, while Germany has served as a mediator between the two Mediterranean nations.
BREAKING — Turkey has discovered a gas reserve as big as 320 billion cubic meters in Black Sea, Erdogan says.
For Turkey, which also finds itself at odds with neighboring Cyprus after sending warships to escort vessels drilling off the Cypriot coasts, this recent discovery proves vital given that it has already delimited maritime borders with its Black Sea neighbors.
For a nation which imported $41 billion in energy last year alone, mostly from Iran, Iraq, and Russia, the move towards energy sovereignty brings Turks hope as the economy—experiencing high inflation, a devalued lira, and a wide account deficit—was already fragile before the Covid-19 pandemic made things worse.