“ExxonMobil’s initiation of a natural gas search in the so-called 10th parcel given by the Greek Cypriot Administration off the island of Cyprus does not contribute to the stability of the region. It might also change certain fragile balances for the solving of the [Cyprus] problem,” Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hami Aksoy said on Sunday. “We had warned the Greek Cypriot Administration to stop the unilateral hydrocarbon facilities in Eastern Mediterranean”, he added.
“We remind again that the sharing of the island’s natural resources is an issue that has to be dealt with at the core of the Cyprus question,” Aksoy noted.
The foreign ministry spokesman said that Turkey will continue to support the interests of the Turkish Cypriot people the Turkish Republic of the North Cyprus (TRNC).
“We will start to operate in the permitted extraction zones given to the Turkish Petroleum by the TRNC in addition to our continental shelf,” he said.
The drillship ‘Stena Icemax’ leased by the U.S. oil giant ExxonMobil, arrived in Block 10 offshore Cyprus to conduct test well operations on Monday. the Greek Cypriots have previously invited ExxonMobil to bid on other unexplored blocks in the region.
Turkey’s first drillship ‘Fatih’ set off for the Mediterranean in late October in an effort to reinforce its position as a key energy player in the region.
Drilling operations in the Mediterranean will continue with another well off the coast of the southern province of Mersin this month. Turkey also plans to add a second drilling vessel to its fleet as the country looks to become more active in hydrocarbon searches in the near future.