Turkey to begin drilling for resources around Cyprus
Turkey will start drilling around Cyprus because the Greek Cypriot government did not listen to Ankara’s suggestions to ensure the rights of Turkish Cypriots, Çavuşoğlu said during an interview following a meeting with the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı on Jan. 25.
The unilateral Greek Cypriot attempts to tap gas and oil in the eastern Mediterranean have caused friction between Athens and Ankara.
“Our second platform is coming in February. We were going to send it to the Black Sea, now we are sending it to the Cyprus area,” Çavuşoğlu said.
“Our drill ship Fatih is currently in the Alanya-1 area, its work there will be done in March. We are shifting that to the south too,” he added.
He did not specify whether Turkey would drill for oil or natural gas.
Turkey launched its first drill ship “Fatih” in October to drill off the coast of Turkey’s southern Antalya province and had said a second ship that it purchased would operate in the Black Sea.
Turkish Cyprus says any offshore wealth also belongs to them.
Greek Cypriots say any future benefits of gas finds will eventually be shared by all Cypriots.
Çavuşoğlu said Ankara would not be satisfied by such statements.
The island was split in 1974 after a Turkish intervention following a brief Greek-inspired coup.
Israel’s Delek Drilling and its U.S. partner, Noble Energy, meanwhile, have said that the foundation of their rig for the Leviathan gas field has arrived.
The foundation, known as the platform jacket, is being placed on Jan. 27 around 10 kilometers off Israel’s coast.
It marks the first stage of a project they say will wean Israel off coal and revolutionize its economy by turning it into an energy exporter.
The topside of the platform is expected to arrive in several months and natural gas from the field is supposed to pump into Israel and its neighboring countries by the end of the year.
Israel already has export deals signed with Jordan and Egypt, and it aims to build a pipeline with Greece and Greek Cyprus to carry the gas to Europe.