ENERGY > Greek Cyprus extends search

NICOSIA - Agence France-Presse

Greek Cyprus approves licenses for four off shore gas deposits, before starting talks with four large companies including Total and ENI. The Mediterranean move may increase the tension with Ankara

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A picture released by the official Greek Cypriot press information office shows the Noble’s ‘Homer Ferrington’ platform, where exploration drilling for hydrocarbons is taking place.

A picture released by the official Greek Cypriot press information office shows the Noble’s ‘Homer Ferrington’ platform, where exploration drilling for hydrocarbons is taking place.

Greek Cyprus has approved licenses for the exploratory drilling of oil and gas deposits in four blocks off its shores, Commerce Minister Neoclis Sylikiotis has announced, in a move that may increase existing tensions with Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Drilling permits were approved for blocks 2, 3, 9 and 11, the minister said on Oct. 30.

The decision follows a launch for tenders for a second licensing round that ended in May and covered 12 blocks, Sylikiotis said, adding that decisions on the other eight would be made “gradually.” He said the government would negotiate a partnership deal with Italy’s ENI and South Korea’s KOGAS for blocks 2 and 3. He said terms would be discussed with a French-Russian tie-up involving Total ENP Activities and Novatec for block 9, while Total wants to explore block 11 on its own. Sylikiotis said these negotiations were expected to be completed next year.

U.S. firm Noble Energy has already been awarded Block 12 and announced last year that it had discovered gas reserves of up to 226.5 billion cubic meters at an estimated value of $129 billion.

Turkish opposition

Turkey has protested strongly against the Greek Cypriot government’s search for offshore oil and gas, citing it as illegal and retaliating with its own exploratory drilling in the breakaway north.

Greek Cypriot President Demetris Christofias has said the island’s offshore oil and gas search would carry on regardless of Ankara’s reaction and that any findings would be used for the benefit of all Cypriots. “The reason we decided to go ahead with these four blocks is primarily to create economies of scale given the synergies that will arise to their proximity to block 12,” Sylikiotis told reporters.

This may also contribute to Turkish-Israeli tensions due to the developing energy cooperation between Greek Cyprus and Israel. Turkey is already at odds with Israel after a May 31, 2010 Israeli military attack on an aid flotilla bound for Gaza that killed nine Turkish citizens.


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Notice on comments

Peter Panayiotou

11/23/2012 6:12:01 AM

Mr Green would you care to explain to us readers why Turkey has re-populated northern Cyprus with Anatolian settlers? Is it because Turkey knows she has taken too much ROC territory and needs to fill it up? or is it because it is a cynical attempt to control northern Cyprus thru demographic changes and to make it very difficult for the 2 communities to live together again? digest the above.

Chris Green

11/14/2012 1:36:02 AM

"Occupied Cyprus" is arguably the 'dark side' of Cyprus, so occupied by the southern irritation also known as Greeks! The whole of Cyprus would have been so 'occupied' had it not been for the successful intervention by superior Turkish forces in '74 and relative peace has since ensued thanks to the permanent presence of the TSK. Such a pity that they did not complete the job in August of said year - another 48 hours was all that would have been needed to expel the Greek NG invaders! Balance now!


11/10/2012 5:34:23 PM

"People practically live together on the island." Thanks to 74 intervention by Turkey! "Both GCs and TCs want settlers out of the island." Start with Greek ones as a show of good faith! "They don't have any problems with each other." Except for all the times they had and have problems with each other. Again, thanks TSK! Get real, will you, people here are a bit more informed than you assume.

Nikos T.

11/3/2012 7:47:09 PM

@Brit, solvent to whom? Not even to each other. Yes I know very well Turkey and occupied Cyprus. I've been there many times. I spend 6 months every year in Cyprus. I was in the Cyprus Mall this morning and as always I saw many TCs. People practically live together on the island. Both GCs and TCs want settlers out of the island. They don't have any problems with each other. Everybody must leave the island alone but Turks won't live due to Cyprus's natural resources. That's their only concern.

Brit in Turkey

11/3/2012 9:35:33 AM

@Nikos T. At least the TRNC is solvent. Do I gather from your comments that you know the TRNC and Turkey well?

Nikos T.

11/2/2012 10:01:37 PM

@Brit, it seems you have convinced yourself that Turkey's concern is the TCs. However the truth is that they couldn't care less. They never did. They even invented Turkish population in the island (these are Davutoglou's words). What they do care about lies at the picture of this article. Nevertheless, RoC is a modern EU country 100 times better than Turkey in terms of minority rights, freedom of speech, religion rights etc. If I were a Turk I would also want to live in Cyprus instead of Turkey.

mike alexander

11/2/2012 7:56:24 PM

Reality, reality, reality. The reality is that my country America will define what is reality. And the Cypriots are smart enough to involve America so Turkey cannot do anything about it. That is reality my friends. In this case I believe America is right. She is protecting a UN recognize country. Who ever do not realize that, is living out of reality. God pless you all !

Chris Tahos

11/2/2012 7:54:01 PM

@Brit in Turkey.You are a free person and nobody denies you the right to adopt your friends.However any choice of yours doesn't change the reality of Northern Cyprus regime's,global political isolation which includes official UK goverment stance. And this is the subject of our commenting.Regards

Brit in Turkey

11/2/2012 6:00:43 PM

@Thessalonian. I notice you do not mention the 70's and I cry not for the British situation in Cyprus. As I recall the news at the time the British were being shot at by both sides and seemed unable to fight back. @Chris Tahos. Addressing me as "My friend" smacks at the sort of thing a cheap waiter says in a cheap restaurant. For the benefit of you both my concern is for the populations of Turkey and TRNC, my adopted "friends".


11/2/2012 3:51:32 PM

@Brit in Turkey. Reality from the 50s and 60s involving EOKA is indeed responsible for the timely executed defeat and subsequent expulsion of the British colonial boot of oppression from the island. That is reality Mr. Brit, get over it... Regards
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