Turkish firms show interest in Cyprus gas

Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades said the discovery of natural gas in the Eastern Mediterranean was providing an incentive to solve the Cyprus problem.

Turkish firms show interest in Cyprus gas

World Bulletin / News Desk

Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades has said that Turkish energy companies have expressed interest in natural gas reserves located in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Speaking to the Greek language daily Alithia, Anastasiades said that natural gas has proved to be the most important incentive to Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots to solve the forty-year Cyprus problem.

He also claimed that Turkey was now more focused on maintaing good relations with the Greek Cypriot administration and Israel as they are the closest source of energy supply to Turkey.

“This means low cost. There is also the issue of the supply pipelines to Turkey. These are the priorities and I have to admit that Turkish companies have sounded us out on this score,” Anastasiades said, adding that he sees no reason why Turkish companies cannot be one of the buyers of energy from Cyprus deposits in the future “if and when Ankara contributes to the solution of the Cyprus problem.”

Anastasiades, whose term in office expires in February 2018, also said that he expects the new Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to keep his word on bringing about a speedy resolution to the Cyprus problem.

However, Anastasiades indicated that his idea for a resolution embodied a “single state,” contradicting the demand of Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots for a bi-zonal federal state.

Disputed waters

During a speech at the 25th conference of the Central Councils of the International Conference of Overseas Cypriots (POMAK – PSEKA), Anastasiades also warned Turkey about “threatening” Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ), referring to the Turkish vessel Barbaros, which is involved in exploratory research until October 2 off the coast of the breakaway Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus' (TRNC) Karpass peninsula.

Turkish Cypriots in the north of the island declared the independence of the TRNC in 1983 almost a decade after failing to reinstate the constitutional government following a coup by the Greek junta led by Nicos Sampson, prompting Turkey to use its right as a guarantor to intervene.

While the TRNC is not recognized by the international community minus Turkey, Turkey likewise refuses to recognize the Greek Cypriot administration in southern Cyprus. The Greek Cypriot administration deems Turkish exploration activity off the island's northern coast illegal and a breach of its EEZ, but Turkey continues to operate in the region with the blessing of the TRNC government.

Eastern Mediterranean alternative for Turkey

Speaking to Natural Gas Europe, the Chairman of Turkey's Turcas Petrol, Batu Aksoy, said that the discovery of gas in Eastern Mediterranean (Leviathan) has created a big chance for Turkey to diversify its natural gas resources with new options.

“The natural gas resources in Eastern Mediterranean can cover alone Turkey's gas needs for 25 years. The 7-10 BCM per year can be shipped to turkey from 540 BCM natural gas field,” Aksoy said, adding that Turcas is planning to be a major player in Eastern Mediterranean gas.

However, Aksoy noted that it would take some time before gas imports could begin.“I cannot say any specific timetable to begin gas imports from Eastern Mediterranean. The project, feasibility and building of natural gas pipelines may last at least 3 years,” he said.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 26 Ağustos 2014, 13:34