Turkey expects results from Yavuz drillship in 3 months
Turkey is expecting to get results from the second oil and gas exploration mission in the East Mediterranean in three months, as its drilling vessel Yavuz reached the Güzelyurt-1 well location, Energy and Natural Resources Deputy Minister Alparslan Bayraktar said on Oct. 7.
Speaking at an event titled Commercialization of Eastern Mediterranean Gas, organized on the sidelines of the 10th Turkey Energy Summit in southern resort city of Antalya, Bayraktar said that Turkey conducts a critical commercial and technical operation in the East Mediterranean.
Emphasizing that Turkey has to reduce its dependence on export of oil and natural gas, the deputy minister lamented that foreign companies were under pressure, not to partner with Turkey in its drilling operations in the East Mediterranean.
"Unfortunately, some companies knuckle under the pressure and leave us alone. But Turkey continues these activities resolutely with all the shareholders,” asserted Bayraktar.
He announced that Yavuz has started dripping operations on Monday at the Güzelyurt-1 well, from which the country expects to get results in three months.
The minister pointed that Turkey has the capability and capacity to conduct drilling operations in the East Mediterranean on its own.
But, he underlined that Turkey was continuing its endeavor to talk to other countries and companies, who are willing to partner and respect Turkey's position in the region.
"We continue to hold talks with those companies, who want to operate in the license areas assigned to Turkey and who want to enter Mediterranean [market]," he said.
Prior to its second mission, the sixth generation ultra-deep-water drillship, Yavuz, operated at Karpaz-1 well in the Bay of Gazimagusa, also known as Famagusta, in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).
Turkey, as a guarantor nation to the TRNC and in support of its rights on the East Mediterranean resources, is currently conducting hydrocarbon exploration with its drilling vessels, Fatih and Yavuz along with the country's two other seismic vessels.
Yavuz to drill at new location in E Med
In the meantime, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Economy and Energy Minister Hasan Taçoy said on Oct. 7 that Yavuz will start its drilling activities in a new location in the East Mediterranean.
Taçoy said that the TRNC remains steadfast in defending its rights to resources in the region, which he said should not be ignored.
Taçoy explained that the Greek Cypriot administration, despite all warnings, is continuing to issue exploration licenses to international companies in blocks in the East Mediterranean that the TRNC also has rights to.
"The latest example of this is when they [Greek Cypriots] issued licenses for the seventh block," Taçoy said, referring to the block area that the Greek Cypriots independently designated.
Following this decision, he said the TRNC issued warnings to avoid such activity that only heightened tensions, and cautioned that the island does not solely belong to them.
In September, the Greek Cypriot administration signed agreements with French Total and Italian ENI for offshore hydrocarbon exploration in the so called license area number 7.
Following the agreements, the Turkish Foreign Ministry slammed the decision saying that "As repeatedly underlined and shared with the international community, a section of the so-called license area number 7 remains within the Turkish continental shelf, which has been registered with the United Nations."
Taçoy said that "despite knowing that they cannot take a step without homeland Turkey, they both neglected the rights of Israel, Greece... and also defied Turkey." However, according to Taçoy, the necessary steps have been taken against this agitation and deadlock policy.
The Greek Cypriot unilaterally declared a total of 13 so-called parcels in the Eastern Mediterranean as its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and allowed international oil and drilling companies to operate in these areas, which are anticipated to hold rich hydrocarbon reserves.
However, the majority of these parcels clash with the EEZ declared by the TRNC, with the Greek Cypriot administration ignoring the fundamental rights of the TRNC to a share of the island's resources.
Electricity cable project
Turkey and the TRNC are also developing other energy projects. Taçoy explained that Turkey and the TRNC share a vision for 2025 to build a natural gas pipeline between the two countries. They also plan to build an underwater electricity cable, the energy protocal of which was signed during the World Energy Congress in Istanbul in 2016.
The power line's route will originate from a new transformer station based in Akkuyu in the southern Mersin province and run to the Teknecik transformer station located in the TRNC. However, a final agreement on the project has yet to be signed.
"The joint energy working group between the TRNC and Turkey have put forward important studies on this issue. After finalizing these studies, we expect this project to be realized," Taçoy explained.