As the US’ ExxonMobil finished its exploratory drilling off Cyprus in the hunt for oil and gas, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said his country would do so as well as the ) energy race in the island’s waters has intensified.
Turkey had sent warships previously to keep foreign companies out of Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) where they were licensed to drill but ExxonMobil, with the US Sixth Fleet in the area, ignored the dictate.
Cyprus’ Ministry of Energy said, exploratory drilling on target Delphyne-1 by ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Cyprus (Offshore) Limited and Qatar Petroleum International Upstream OPC has been completed.
The ministry also said the British drilling rig Stena Icemax has already been relocated and work has started on the second target in Block 10 named Glaucus-1 with Kathimerini reporting the ship will continue work until February.
Cavusoglu said during a briefing of a parliamentary committee that Turkey, as it had said earlier, would start energy exploration to look for potentially lucrative sources. Turkey has unlawfully occupied the northern third since a 1974 invasion.
“Together with the new platform that will reach the area, we also start drilling around Cyprus. Our ship the Conqueror started drilling in the Alanya-1 plot. Our second ship will soon arrive. We will send it around Cyprus to begin work,” he was quoted as saying by the Independent Balkan News Agency (IBNA).
“We are not against drilling around Cyprus. But we must also ensure the rights of Turkish Cypriots here. This is what we expect from both the EU and the international community,” he also added.