Turkey is continuing its drilling operations off the coast of Antalya. Turkish Minister for Energy and Natural Resources Fatih Donmez said that the target depth is between 5.5 and 6 thousand metres below sea level. They hope to get results from there first drilling in March, the minister said.
Donmez said that even if their first attempts bear no positive results, they will carry on with a second test drill. “The Eastern Mediterranean is a region with high potential for hydrocarbon resources. For approximately six to seven years, our seismic research vessels have been carrying out serious work and we have obtained a lot of data. First, we need to process and analyse those data one by one and later we need to detect and drill at the highest potential place. There is one thing, I always say, with these seismic surveys, in a sense; we are taking an MRI of the seabed. The drilling is like taking a biopsy. We will go, and we will see, if there is something hopefully, we will get it. Now the technology is developing. We hope we find in the first wells, natural gas or oil”.
Donmez further added “As far as Cyprus is concerned, there is something we have said it from the beginning. We will not give our consent to seizing the rights of the Turkish Cypriot people on the island and to present it with a ‘fait accompli’. As a matter of fact, Turkish Petroleum (TPAO) is doing seismic research in areas licensed by the TRNC. Probably, we may, in the near future, make our first drilling in that area too [offshore Cyprus]. In particular, we have warned the Greek Cypriot side on this occasion. We have the right to drill and do whatever research we want in our own territorial waters and in our exclusive economic zones. We have no eye on anyone’s property and resources. We will not allow anyone to violate the rights and interests neither of Turkey nor of the Turkish community who live in North Cyprus. We are in favour of a fair share”.