Turkish oil and gas exploration ships will soon begin drilling activities in the seabed near the northern, occupied, part of Cyprus, a senior Turkish Cypriot official stated on Wednesday.
Ozdil Nami, the economy and energy minister of the so-called Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), which is not recognized by the international community, said that “We will protect the rights and interests of the Turkish Cypriots.”
He also added that they would “take the necessary steps on the issue of natural gas, just as we do on other issues.”
Nami told the Anadolu News Agency that Turkish actions would remain within the frame of international agreements and that his side is always ready for energy cooperation with the Cypriot government.
He added, however, that Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiadis’ proposal to reserve TRNC’s share of hydrocarbon income in a fund until a solution is found to the Cyprus issue was “irrational and illogical.”
“Large discovery” off Cyprus
Meanwhile, the American energy giant ExxonMobil is expected to announce the discovery of a large gas reserve in plot 10 of Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) next week, according to Cyprus’ Sigma Live news network.
The Cypriot network referred to a report by Italy’s Agenzia Nova which cited a high-level Cypriot source who spoke at the the Egypt Petroleum Show in Cairo, which ended on Wednesday.
The source, which reportedly spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the reserve isn’t as large as the Zohr gas field in the Egyptian sector of the Mediterranean Sea, but “has a similar reserve.”