Turkish seismic ship may turn to Mediterranean sea

Turkish seismic ship may turn to Mediterranean sea

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Turkish seismic ship may turn to Mediterranean sea

The energy minister joins to the ceremony of Turkish energy firm TPAO and Shell’s exploration agreement. DHA photo

Turkey’s new seismic ship will undertake an energy search off Cyprus in the Mediterranean Sea, Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yıldız said yesterday, ahead of the deal signed between a Turkish energy company and Shell over oil and gas exploration in the Black Sea.

“We consider energy exploration operations in both the Black Sea and the Mediterranean to be very important. We will finalize our decision about the route of the ship within two weeks,” Yıldız said.

The Black Sea seems to be a higher priority at this point, but sooner or later the ship will head to off-shore fields of Cyprus in order to explore energy, he said.

Turkey has protested strongly against Greek Cyprus’ recent energy searches in the Mediterranean, branding them illegal and starting its own exploratory drilling off the breakaway north of the island.

Minister Yıldız repeated his previous criticism of Nicosia, saying all revenues obtained from the drilling operations should be distributed between both sides of the island. If this does not take place the drilling would be illegal and Turkey would have to take action, he said, adding that companies involved in the Greek Cyprus process could be shut out of Turkey’s future energy investments.

Yıldız also claimed that the most profitable way to transport natural gas obtained in Cyprus was to use Turkey. “If we commercialize the legalized natural gas obtained there together, it could also be the best way to break the ice between the two sides,” he said.

Following his statements, Yıldız participated in the signing ceremony of the agreement between Turkish state-owned energy company TPAO and Royal Dutch Shell, for a $150-200 million oil exploration project in the western Black Sea region.