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Cyprus hydrocarbons: Will they make or break a deal?

20 February 2014

An interesting article has appeared in the ‘Telegraph’ analysing the potential for mutual gain or further conflict over the gas fields off shore Cyprus.

Referring to the potential benefit to the whole island (if reunited) and therefore to Turkey, this should provide an added impetus to find a solution to the Cyprus problem. On the other hand, if Turkey continues to maintain its claims on some of the blocs marked out as belonging to Cyprus’ EEZ, this could help to undermine the whole process.

Turkey, which has launched its own search for hydrocarbons around Cyprus’ waters, has made its own bid, as far as gas transit across the Turkish mainland to Europe is concerned. It is also an eager customer for gas; currently its main supply is monopolised by Russia, which stranglehold it would like to break. It could also benefit from transit fees if the gas is piped across Turkey to Europe.

Further inflaming the territorial dispute, two weeks ago, the Norwegian owned ‘MV Princess’ which was surveying at the time in Cyprus’ EEZ, was told that it was entering Turkish territorial waters and a Turkish naval frigate forced it to move off, much to the outrage and indignation of the South Cyprus government.

In summary, the article says that the South will have to wait for eight years before any financial benefit from the gas comes through and this day may not ever arrive if oil companies are discouraged by Turkish naval patrol ships in Cyprus’ waters.

For the full article click here

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