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ENERGY > Turkish-Greek Cypriot disputes to grow next year

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İpek Yezdani İpek Yezdani ipek.yezdani@hurriyet.com.tr

Probable new natural gas exploration in the Mediterranean basin of Cyprus in 2013 is likely to lead to disputes between Turkey and Greek Cyprus, the director of the PRIO Research Center in Southern Cyprus has said.

“There is a big possibility of new exploration activities in 2013 in [Greek] Cyprus in the offshore blocks 2,3,9 and 11, which are contiguous to block 12,” said Harry Tzimitras, also an expert on the gas and energy issues of the island, during a recent interview with the Hürriyet Daily News. “In these cases, the chance of future disputes is larger than the chance of conciliation with Turkey,” he said.

Greek Cyprus approved licenses a couple of weeks ago for exploratory drilling to exploit offshore oil and gas deposits in four blocks off its shores.

The U.S. firm Noble Energy had already been awarded Block 12 and announced last year that it had discovered gas reserves of up to 8 trillion cubic feet (226.5 billion cubic meters), which has an estimated value of 100 billion euros ($129 billion).

Turkey has recently warned that energy companies cooperating with the Greek Cypriot offshore drilling plans will be banned from participating in new oil and gas projects in Turkey.

Tzimitras said the Greek Cypriot government will receive around 200 million euros as an advance payment by the companies in the consortium by the end of 2012.

“The government in [Greek] Cyprus is desperately trying not to sign the bailout memorandum with the EU Troika. So this is one of the ultimate aims of the offshore drilling plans,” Tzimitras said.

He also said oil and gas in the Mediterranean basin of Cyprus could also serve as an enabler for the reconciliation between Greek Cypriots and Turkey. “When the companies extract the gas, the cheapest thing to bring it to the market would be a pipeline through Turkey. According to estimates, the cost of the construction of a pipeline from Cyprus to Turkey would be only around 1.5 to 2 billion euros.”

November/19/2012

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mike alexander

1/6/2013 8:12:25 PM

LEVENT HUSEYIN, You have not seen any reaction from the West yet, simply because Turkey for the time being ONLY threatens and then backs off ! Wait and see the results from the US and the EU, if Turkey for once tries to make her threats reality. However, I know that your Government is smarter than that and they will remain with the treats as usually ! Regards.

mike alexander

1/6/2013 7:53:38 PM

Brit in Turkey, I do understand that U go out of your way to show support to the Turks since U live there. However there is logic which must prevail at all times. There is NO GC vs Turkey issue here my friend. There is an EU vs Turkey issue ! Do you really believe that the EU & the USA will allow Turkey to take over the oil and gas for themselves ? If U think so, then I'll skip your comments from now on due to insignificant value...

Brit in Turkey

11/21/2012 8:02:19 PM

@Cyprus is Greek. Over 200 years ago the British fought the Americans to try to retain the USA as a colony. Britain lost. Do you see a parallel with Cyprus?

ilker avni

11/19/2012 6:01:00 PM

CYprus is Greek,We have the might and the will, to take back what is ours, we are preparing for a land invasion,Turkey has brought four landing crafts that can carry upto ten thousand troops, on each craft, soon you will see them exciseing drills in the North of Cyprus,as Turkey expands its military in the Med and Aegean.One day you will see who owns the Med.

LEVENT HUSEYIN

11/19/2012 3:32:30 PM

@Cyprus is not Greek! Australia is more Greek than Cyprus with nearly a million Greek settlers living on abourigeni land they never looked back! Ancient Greece is long gone stop misleading yourself Cyprus is Turkeys back garden and the Greeks are in no position to do anything about it. GET OVER IT. 

Cyprus is Greek

11/19/2012 2:58:54 PM

Cyprus is Greek. Correct. Since 3.200 years ago. Cyprus will drill. And there ain't a thing "Turkey" can do to stop this EU-17 nation. Its energy is EU energy and the corridor from Israel to Cyprus to Greece is a VITAL EU route. Sorry "Turkey". Best concentrate your efforts on keeping north Kurdistan and other parts the country in one piece.

Sid Mark

11/19/2012 2:46:09 PM

Turkey never attacked the Noble platform, a company of USA interests..If they are going to attack platforms of French,Italian and Russian interests remains to be seen.

Nikos T.

11/19/2012 2:43:56 PM

@Levent, what do you think would happen if the world recognized this so called TC state? Nothing at all. People living on the north occupied part of the island would be like southeastern Turks. The "two state island" argument would only help Turkey. Of course there is an answer on this wishfull thinking: "Five state Turkey". Regards.

Chris Green

11/19/2012 2:01:00 PM

Levent kardes- Very well put, both points set out clearly the reality of the situation. As for the Turkish navy, well they can never be far away whilst the air force are what...2 minutes away? Conflict however can be avoided by recognising the realities of the two-state island of Cyprus and in conjunction with Turkey, explorations can carry on in their own rights although of course this is already happening to an extent. Waste to Energy projects alongside the water pipeline is an option too!

mr who

11/19/2012 12:57:08 PM

But all said and done you will never have an all Greek drill crew it’s simply not possible.
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