ENERGY: Despite EU warning Turkey sends another drill ship to Cyprus

Turkey sent a second ship to search for oil and gas off Cyprus, in a move expected to escalate tensions after the EU called on Ankara to stop its “illegal drilling activities”.

The region is believed have rich natural gas deposits, triggering confrontation between Turkey and Cyprus, which also plans to ramp up its exploratory activities in the eastern Mediterranean.

Turkish officials said the new vessel is the 229-metre (750-feet) Yavuz, which has previously drilled in the waters off several countries including Kenya, Tanzania and Malaysia.

The Yavuz, able to drill 12,200 metres deep, will begin operations in early July, Melih Han Bilgin, the chief executive of state-run oil and gas producer, Turkiye Petrolleri TPAO, said.

Turkey’s second drill vessel will operate off the Karpas peninsula to the northeast of Cyprus, Bilgin said on Thursday.

The European Union has warned Turkey over its plans to drill in the area, with EU leader in Brussels expected to agree on “appropriate measures” in response.

Turkey’s first drill ship, Fatih, started searching for gas and oil in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone last month. It has already started drilling.

Cyprus has issued arrest warrants for Fatih’s crew members and accused the ship of breaching the republic’s sovereign territory.

Source: The Financial Mirror