The announced gas discoveries in the Black Sea point to a changing reality in the Turkish energy policies. While the news of the discoveries is great, these sites’ material effects will show themselves once the production starts up at the wells. Being a rather reserved sector, the public opinion on the subject seems to have created numerous questions as to if and how these discoveries will affect our daily lives, which is where the work gets interesting.
The natural resource wealth is a contentious topic that has been studied extensively to understand the relationship between countries’ international standing and the source of their national incomes. Some people point out the cases of Venezuela and Nigeria while others pinpoint Norway and the Netherlands. However, no single case is identical to one another when the matters on hand are this large and complex. The economic and political standing of Turkey is unique to itself and should not be mixed with those of other countries when making comparisons.
The benefits of having large scale offshore hydrocarbon production will reach further than just bringing in funds through the exploitation of the resource. The investments to be made in human capital and the development of side industries that support this sector will flourish in the coming years. Businesses spanning across the subsea engineering expertise domain, whether it is drilling, construction, or vessel management, are just some of the prime areas where we will see investments being made in their direction.
On the other hand, the knowledge gained in the offshore O&G sector is transferrable to other sectors. While it may come as a surprise to some, but offshore wind farms share a lot of similarities with offshore O&G supply chains. Currently, the service providers in the North Sea Oil Fields have begun to also support the offshore renewables operations in the U.K..
It is one of the many signs of how the industry is capable of adapting itself to changing realities. How does this reflect on Turkey? With ambitious renewables generation goals, Turkey could, in the future, start the development of offshore renewables itself. If not that, then the Turkish service providers could very well provide these services elsewhere in the region to other offshore developers.
The dawn of subsea mining is also presenting opportunities for the industry. While the operation components are likely to be completely different, the mode of it is very similar. Utilizing underwater ROV mining robots and drillships to perform the excavation activities, any knowledge gained in the offshore subsea industry today will have positive consequences in the next 50 years for the Turkish mining industry. It should be reiterated again that these actions/operations do not necessarily have to be conducted in Turkey but could be provided as services to third parties/countries.
The list of side-industries that will benefit from the establishment of offshore developments is easily expandable and goes further than generalizations in single paragraphs. For this reason, in the upcoming weeks, I’ll take a look at how the expansion and development of local offshore hydrocarbon reserves might affect a nation’s economic and political standing.