Turkey signs gas drilling deal with Turkish Cyprus

The deal gives Turkey the green light to search oil and gas inside the Turkish Cypriot waters.

Turkey signs gas drilling deal with Turkish Cyprus

Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus or the TRNC Wednesday signed an agreement on the delineation of the continental shelf between two countries in the Eastern Mediterranean.

The agreement was penned in a meeting between Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Turkish Cypriot President Dervis Eroglu in New York.

The deal gives Turkey the green light to search oil and gas inside the Turkish Cypriot waters.

The agreement follows a Greek Cypriot move to start offshore drilling for natural gas and oil in the southeast of the Eastern Mediterranean island.

Turkey said it would send a vessel to the region to launch own research this week, adding the ship would be escorted by Turkish warships.

Turkish energy ministry will forbid energy companies exploring offshore deposits for Greek Cyprus government to work in Turkey, Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan said during the signature ceremony.

Some sanctions would be applied to those companies, he said.

Turkey has repeatedly called on Greek Cyprus to postpone its gas exploration, saying the Greek side has no right for offshore energy search, while the island remains split, thus leaving the Turkish north out of the picture.

The Greek Cypriot government, not recognised by Turkey, has made a deal with US energy firm Noble, which has started exploratory drilling for gas off the southern coast of the divided island of Cyprus. Noble Energy says that the eastern Mediterranean gas finds have been the world's biggest deepwater gas discoveries in the last decade, with a total of at least 25 tcf of gross mean resources.

"The Greek Cypriot administration and Israel are doing a mad thing in Mediterranean. Actually, Greek Cypriot administration's drilling activity is nothing but sabotaging the negotiation process between Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots. We are going to have a High-Level Strategic Cooperation Meeting with Greece soon. It is a step taken to sabotage the meeting," Erdogan said, in New York.

Turkey says that any Cypriot natural resources have to be shared by the whole island. Cypriot leaders have been negotiating to reunify the island since 2008.

Agencies

 

Last Mod: 22 Eylül 2011, 11:38
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