Turkish Petroleum (TPAO) has discovered 150 million barrels of oil in the Mount Gabar Area, southeast Turkey.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced the find during a cabinet meeting on Monday.

He said: “It is one of the top 10 onshore discoveries in 2022. The reserve value is approximately $12 billion.

“We produce 5,000 barrels per day in four wells in this region, which has a very high oil quality. With 34 more discoveries in 2021 alone, we added another 71 million barrels to our current reserve,” Erdoğan added.

Turkey will celebrate its centenary in 2023, and Ankara intends to expand its daily output to 100,000 barrels during that time. The Turkish president also stated that TPAO’s daily production, which was roughly 40,000 barrels five years ago, has now increased to 65,000 barrels.

The find came at the Sehit Esma Cevik-1 exploration well, and TPAO intends to drill 12 more appraisal and production wells in 2023. TPAO hopes the field’s oil output is estimated to reach 25,000 barrels per day by the end of 2023.

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In mid-October, Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested to Erdogan that Russia sell more gas through Turkey and transform it into a new supply hub to maintain Russia’s energy leverage over Europe. Through the Gas Hub project, Turkey has positioned itself as a potential channel for Russian oil to reach the EU and the US, circumventing sanctions. Ankara has more than doubled its imports of Russian crude since Russia invaded Ukraine in late February. 

The discovery of natural gas in the Black Sea was announced in 2020, with production scheduled to begin next year.