ANKARA, Turkey, March 7 (UPI) -- Turkey expects its shale natural gas reserves in southern provinces to exceed 1.5 trillion cubic feet, a petroleum association announced.
The Turkish Association of Petroleum Geologists estimates that Turkey holds more than 1.5 trillion cubic feet of shale natural gas, with most of that coming from southeastern provinces, the Platts news service reports.
Turkey gets more than 90 percent of its natural gas from foreign suppliers. In January, Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz signed a 10-year deal with Algeria's state-owned energy company Sonatrach for liquefied natural gas deliveries.
The deal was seen as a move to diversify an energy sector that depends on Russia. The Algerian deal secures LNG deliveries equivalent to 140 billion cubic feet per year.
Last weekend, Yildiz was in Kabul to meet with Afghan Minister of Mines Wahidullah Shahrani. There, he said, Turkish oil companies have expressed interest in exploring for oil along the border with Tajikistan, state news agency Anatolia reports.
The International Energy Agency expects Turkey's energy appetite to grow considerably over the next decade. In 2010, the latest year for which data are available, the country imported 300,000 barrels of oil per day.
The U.S. Energy Department's Energy Information Administration estimates that Turkey holds an estimated 218 billion cubic feet of natural gas but relies heavily on imports to meet domestic needs.