World Bulletin / News Desk
Speaking exclusively to Anadolu Agency at the World Energy Congress in Istanbul, Atun said the energy protocol signed between Turkey and the TRNC on the sidelines of the congress is a framework agreement, which "includes the construction of interconnected system, mutual cooperation on renewable energy and exploration of oil and natural gas resources."
Turkey and the TRNC have already signed another energy agreement in 2011, in which exploration and drilling activities took place back then in the eastern part of the island.
"Then, in 2014 it was decided that a well would be drilled in Guzelyurt district but the planned drilling was never realized since the project was not on the agenda of the government of that time," he noted.
However, Atun underlined that developments in and around the region need to be advanced.
"We need to make projections by looking at our onshore potential and the exploratory work that has been done, as well as offshore potential of our waters through seismic explorations," Atun said.
Southern Cyprus has granted authorization for assessments in many areas of both different countries and different companies, according to Atun.
The Greek Cypriot administration signed protocol with Egypt in August that will allow construction of a gas pipeline going underneath Mediterranean.
It also announced a tender for new hydrocarbon exploration offshore the long-divided Mediterranean Island on March 24. The call for bids, which concluded on June 22, was to award licenses for blocks 6, 8 and 10. ENI, Total, Statoil, Exxon Mobil, Qatar Petroleum, and Cairn's declared their interests in the tender.
"With the help of the agreement with Turkey, I think that we can determine a team for conducting works in oil and natural gas fields in the upcoming period," he said.
Atun elaborated on the plans for the undersea electricity cable and said a joint study group will be formed and the capacity of the undersea cable and the electricity cable, the method of construction for the project and the route of the cable will be determined by this group.
Turkey and the TRNC signed an energy protocol Tuesday that foresees the construction of an undersea electricity cable link between the two countries.
The agreement includes the renewal of electricity infrastructure, development of electricity supply security, the construction of interconnected system, mutual cooperation on renewable energy, the application of regulations in the electricity area as well as exploration of new oil and natural gas resources.
"We expressed a common will with [Turkey's Energy Minister] Mr. Albayrak. Thanks to this willingness, we will not waste our time and will start work as soon as possible. We hope to have the cable ready in 2017," he concluded.