ANKARA, January 30. /TASS/. The Black Sea gas reserves discovered by Turkey may cover the country’s demand for the next 30 years, Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Fatih Donmez told a forum on Monday.
"The present gas reserves in the Black Sea cover our needs for the next 30 years. With the newly-prospected fields, the period will be even longer. We expect the first stage of Black Sea gas production to start in March," he said in an address broadcast by TVNET channel.
The infrastructure for transportation and storage of gas in Turkey that exists and is being created, is designed to be used for at least 50 years, the minister noted.
"The age of Turkey will be an era of its energy independence. We have developed plans and are implementing programs for this purpose. The Black Sea gas meets this context as well. Hopefully, when production in this region reaches its full capacity, we will cover one fourth of our gas demand," he explained, adding that "Turkey’s gas imports will thus decrease by one fourth." "This will strengthen our positions at gas talks," Donmez emphasized.
"The construction of the gas processing plant" that will receive gas extracted from the Black Sea, "is 90% complete" now, he noted.