Turkey will start delivering gas from its offshore finds to households in May in a move that is projected to meet their needs for 35 years, Energy Minister Fatih Donmez said.
Turkish state-run energy importer BOTAS will distribute the gas to households next month once controls are completed, Donmez told private broadcaster CNNTurk in an interview on Saturday.
The minister also hinted at potential discounts to utility bills ahead of general elections on May 14, where President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is seeking reelection. Erdogan will announce “good news” on April 20, Donmez said.
A severe cost-of-living crisis has hurt the popularity of Erdogan and his ruling AK Party. The Turkish leader has pitched energy finds as a solution to the country’s economic vulnerabilities, which include a hefty energy-import bill that is paid in foreign currency.
Despite government subsidies, electricity and heating bills have taken a toll on Turkish households and businesses amid Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. Donmez said Russia supplies about a third of Turkey’s natural gas needs, while 30% of the country’s $350 billion import bill last year was for energy.
Roughly 710 billion cubic meters of natural gas reserves are estimated to have been discovered in offshore fields mainly in the Sakarya field. The find is worth $500 billion based on current market prices, the minister said.