Ankara working on natural gas pipeline between Turkey, Turkish Cyprus: Minister
Although work continues for the cable line and pipeline to meet the island’s needs, the work schedule and completion date have not yet been set, Dönmez told reporters on Nov. 22 before his speech in parliament’s planning and budget committee meeting.
The shared vision for both these projects was realized through an energy protocol signed during the World Energy Congress in Istanbul in 2016. The powerline’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 Turkish Cyprus.
Ankara mulls to build the natural gas pipeline parallel to the current waterline between Turkey and Turkish Cyprus, daily Milliyet on Nov. 22 quoted Turkish Cyprus’ Energy Minister Hasan Taçoy as saying.
Speaking at an energy symposium, Taçoy said the pipeline would take gas in 2025 from Turkey to Turkish Cyprus.
Dönmez also said that the joint exploration program with Norwegian energy company Equinor and Canada’s Valeura in the Thrace region is in progress, but with official data on reserve volumes still pending from the ministry. He acknowledged a great deal of speculation about the size of the Thrace region’s reserves, but advised that the public seek out reliable and verifiable information sources through the ministry.
Cyprus was divided into a Turkish Cypriot state in the north and a Greek Cypriot administration in the south after a 1974 military coup was followed by violence against the island’s Turkish people and Turkey’s intervention as a guarantor power.
In 2017, after two years of negotiations, the latest attempt to reunify the long-divided Mediterranean island ended in failure.
Turkey has consistently contested the Greek Cypriot administration’s unilateral drilling in the eastern Mediterranean, asserting that the Turkish Cypriots also have similar rights to the resources in the area.
In recent years, a U.S. oil company discovered a gigantic gas field off the island’s south coast. Experts assume that it may hold 227 billion cubic meters of gas — a find worth approximately 40 billion euros (44.8 billion US dollar). When the Greek Cypriot side permitted international energy companies to extract the gas, they sent ships to explore the area. The Turkish side responded to this move sending two drilling ships to the area.