Turkey warns of reprisals over Cyprus energy projects
ANKARA - Agence France-Presse
Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu.Turkey threatened reprisals today against companies bidding for oil and gas drilling projects off Greek Cyprus, whose government is not recognized by Ankara.
"The companies ... which cooperate with GKRY [the Greek Cypriot administration] will not be included in energy projects in Turkey in the future," the foreign ministry said.
Turkey's warning came after Greek Cyprus announced that 29 companies had made 15 bids for exploratory drilling in a second round of licensing to exploit offshore oil and gas deposits despite strong objections from Turkey.
A final decision is expected to be taken by the Greek Cypriot Cabinet within the next six months on the tenders, which cover 12 out of a total 13 blocks.
U.S. firm Noble Energy, which was awarded the remaining block, said last year it had discovered gas reserves of up to 226 billion cubic meters with an estimated value of 100 billion euros ($127 billion).
This would satisfy the eastern Mediterranean island's domestic gas needs for decades.
Turkey has protested strongly against the Greek Cypriot government's search for offshore oil and gas.
It says the exploration is an abuse of the rights of Turkish Cypriots to the same resources and has retaliated by launching its own exploratory drilling.