State owned TPAO of Turkey discovered heavy crude oil in Sinopi district of Sirnak, an Eastern province of Turkey bordering Iraq. Studies on daily capacity are ongoing and are to be concluded soon, however, it is reported that the value of the oil is similar to oil extracted across the border in Iraq.
Oil was discovered in a high gravity well 2,900 metres below surface, meaning it is of high density, heavy crude oil state. TPAO had started oil exploration in one single well only 6 months ago. This is the first discovery of high gravity oil at the Turkish-Iraqi border.
In recent years, Turkey has accelerated it efforts of oil explorations. Considering that Turkey borders some of the world's most oil rich countries, it seems inevitable that there are considerable oil reserves waiting to be extracted. So far efforts to explore Turkish oil reserves have been haphazard and lazy at best, however, current oil exploration policies aim to change that. There have been some early signs of major findings already
- Bismil oil reserve was only recently discovered at a depth of 2450 metres near Diyarbakir on the south-eastern province of Turkey. It has been reported that the crude oil discovered in Bismil Town has a gravity ranking of 41.9 and similar quality to oil reserves of Saudi Arabia.
- Another discovery came from the western province of Manisa on the Aegean region of Turkey. The oil discovered here has a gravity ranking of 31-37 at a depth of 1850 metres. The reserve is reported to contain as much as 10 million barrels of oil.
Technical analysis shows that production from the above reserves may start as early as 5-6 months from January 2014.
On another oil related note, Nathaniel Rothschild's Genel Energy, the largest independent oil and gas operator in Northern Iraq's Kurdish administered region, will start selling crude oil through a new pipeline to Turkey. The regional government of Kurdish administered Northern Iraq in Erbil announced early last week that they will start pumping the first 2 million barrels to Turkey by the end of January 2014. The new pipeline gives the Northern Kurdish administration of Iraq access to international oil markets through the Turkish port of Ceyhan near Adana.
By the end of 2014, it is planned that 10-12 million barrels of oil will be pumped to Turkey. Genel Energy is a company listed on the London Stock Exchange, headquartered in London with operations in Ankara, Turkey and Erbil, Iraq. The company is run by the former head of British Petroleum, Tony Hawyward. Genel Energy itself, which is expected by analysts to outperform the market in 2014, has been formed as a result of an IPO in London stock exchange merging with established Turkish oil exploration company Genel Energy International. The merged entity carried on with the name Genel Energy with the original Turkish company owner holding a 30% stake in the merged entity alongside Nathaniel Rothschild, who engineered the IPO in London. The merged company is now seen as the strongest oil exploration company in Northern Iraq with strong ties to the local administration.
Note - Kirkuk to Ceyhan oil pipeline is a 970km long pipeline, which is Iraq's most significant crude oil export line. It can carry 500,000 barrels of crude oil per day. Turkish HalkBank will process revenues from the crude oil exported via the Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline.
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