Work to transfer electricity from Turkey to the TRNC by undersea cable will be undertaken before the end of 2017, Minister of Economy and Energy Sunat Atun has said. He added that the project will be concluded in two years time and is expected to cost 450 million euros.
Atun also noted that potential cooperation between Israel, Turkey and the TRNC is on the agenda regarding the transfer of natural gas from Israel to Europe.
The energy minister said that the seismic survey vessel ‘Barbaros Hayreddin Pasa’ operating offshore Karpaz had made some significant discoveries. The official results from three months of oil exploration activities will be announced and a drilling platform will arrive offshore to carry out drilling operations.
Referring to the transfer of natural gas from Israel, Atun said that discussions were underway regarding the transfer of Israel’s natural gas to Europe from a terminal in the TRNC via Ceyhan in Turkey.
Stressing the need to think globally, Atun said that “as a result of Turkey’s establishing ties with Israel on the natural resources in the Mediterranean, the TRNC would be a partner in this cooperation”.
He also accused the Greek Cypriot administration of not being willing to share the natural gas with the Turkish Cypriots, Atun said: “Not only the Greek Cypriot side refuses to grant our rights but also ignores Turkey’s rights”.
“The Greek Cypriot side acts as if it is the single head in the Mediterranean region. It does not accept sharing the energy resources with the Turkish Cypriots. They are saying ‘we will give you your share after the solution’ but they do not say how much it will be. […]”, Atun further added. He also accused the Greek Cypriot side of trying to create tension in the region by taking unilateral steps on energy.
“At the moment, it is believed that there are 2,2 trillion cube metres of natural gas around Cyprus. Disregarding everything, we will undertake drillings and take the place we deserve on natural gas reservoirs. During our meetings with Turkey’s Energy Minister Albayrak, we agreed that within the next six months-one year, at the latest, after renting a platform from the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO), we will be able to reach the natural gas reservoirs. It is very important for us today to protect, as the TRNC, our natural gas rights not only because we want to protect our rights and interest but also because it is very important for us to utilise these reservoirs for trade activities”, Atun concluded.