ENERGY: Second Turkish vessel to start drilling off Cyprus

A second Turkish drillship will begin drilling for oil and natural gas off Cyprus this week in a move that could create more tension.

Last month, European Union leaders warned Turkey to end its gas drilling in Cyprus’ EEZ after pressure from Nicosia and Athens.

Turkey violated Cyprus’ EEZ in May when the Turkish ship Fatih started drilling, Nicosia has issued arrest warrants for its crew and taken legal action against any company involved.

The second drilling ship, Yavuz, is currently at the port of Mersin doing final tests and taking on supplies, Turkey Energy Minister Fatih Donmez was quoted as saying.

Ankara, which does not have diplomatic relations with Cyprus, claims that certain areas in Cyprus’ offshore maritime zone, known as an EEZ, fall under the jurisdiction of Turkey or of Turkish Cypriots, who have their own breakaway state in the north of the island which is recognized only by Turkey.

God willing, within a week Yavuz will begin drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean, in Karpasia (peninsula), in the area where we have got a license from the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, said Donmez.

A row over natural resources has hampered efforts to kick-start Cyprus peace talks that collapsed in 2017.

Source: The Financial Mirror