Valeura forecasts vast gas find in Turkey's Thrace Basin

By Murat Temizer

ANKARA (AA) – The real potential for gas reserves in Turkey's Thrace Basin could be in the multi-trillion cubic feet level, according to Sean Guest, CEO of the Canadian energy company Valeura on Wednesday.

Guest told Anadolu Agency in an exclusive interview that the company, which has been operating in Turkey for more than seven years, is fully committed to the country — the only place where the company has assets.

"It [gas volume potential] can be very large as we believe there is gas in place in the ground. It's a matter of bringing the technologies that are used in North America over to Turkey to help show that we can develop these reserves in a commercial way," he explained.

The company has been working in the Thrace region for a number of years where since the end of 2017 it has been producing oil and gas from the Yamalik discovery with its Norwegian partner Equinor.

As a testament to the the potential that Valeura and partner Equinor see in Turkey, Valeura aims to spend about 500 million Turkish liras on developing the Yamalik well and on the region's appraisal, he said.

"We have been operating in Turkey for quite a while. We are pleased that we were able to convince Equinor of the potential here, and that they were able willing to come in and invest in a partnership with us to explore and now appraise this discovery," said the CEO.

"There is real potential for gas reserves, but it is a type of play that will require quite a bit of drilling and appraisal work to advance it. We are in the midst of that right now," he explained.

This appraisal work involves drilling three new wells to test the volume of reserves present and to ascertain if these gas flows are commercially viable, he added.

Guest commended the good working environment with support from "a very cooperative ministry" in Turkey.

He also described the regulators as very good in assisting Valeura in obtaining the necessary approvals to conduct exploration in the Thrace region where the community is very supportive.

"It’s an exciting opportunity, and if we were successful, it would be very helpful for Turkey as a country to have its own energy while helping the country decrease gas imports," he said.

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