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Turkey will not permit South to continue hydrocarbon search

16 September 2015

According to a new strategic document issued to the Turkish Naval Forces, Turkey will not make concessions and permit possible drilling operations by the Greek Cypriot sector, in the eastern Mediterranean.

The report published by Turkish daily ‘Aksam’ reads: “The unilateral efforts of the Greek Cypriot administration to take up the jurisdiction of the island, have broadened the dimension of the Cyprus problem. We will prevent any possible research/drilling activities which will be carried out within our marine areas and in the areas which were declared to the international community”.

In the next few days Cyprus will have an idea of whether a large natural gas reserve recently discovered off the coast of  Egypt extends inside the island’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), Energy Minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis said on Tuesday.

“We are already working on the geological data and we’ll have a picture in the next few days,” he said.

Italian energy giant ENI recently discovered what may be a 30 trillion cubic feet (tcf) reservoir inside the Egyptian EEZ, at a site just kilometres away from the Cypriot maritime zone.

If confirmed, the Zohr prospect could be the largest ever natural gas discovery in the Mediterranean.

According to ENI, the prospect covers an area of about 100 square kilometres, and has a hydrocarbon column of 630 meters.

The site is located 3.5 nautical miles (6.5 kilometres) from the border of Bloc 11 of South Cyprus’ EEZ. Bloc 11 is licensed to oil major Total.

If the reservoir does overlap, the unification agreement signed between South Cyprus and Egypt in December 2013 would presumably come into operation.

Aksam, Cyprus Mail (edited)

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