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Turkey warns international companies over Cyprus gas drilling plans

Steel News - Published on Mon, 21 May 2012

Turkey gave a warning to major international oil and gas companies currently seeking licenses from Greek Cyprus to search for oil and gas reserves off Cyprus against proceeding with their bids saying it will not allow exploration in disputed areas.

Russia\'s Novatec, Italy\'s ENI, France\'s Total and Malaysia\'s Petronas are among 15 firms and consortiums seeking licenses to carry out exploratory drilling off southern Cyprus despite Turkey\'s strong objections. The Greek Cypriot government launched a tender for international bids in a second round of licensing and is currently in the process of assessing the bids.

Turkey said that the areas to be explored under the second round of licensing are disputed: Turkey says some of the areas to the west of the island are within its own continental shelf while some areas to the south of the Greek Cypriot coasts have already been designated by the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus government as sites to be explored by the Turkish Petroleum Company. The international companies concerned should withdraw their bids because of the disputed nature of the areas in question.

Turkish Foreign Ministry said that future operations of international oil companies in these areas may result in confrontation between the KKTC and TPAO, resulting in the emergence of undesired tensions. As announced earlier, Turkey will offer every kind of support to the KKTC. We call on the countries concerned and the oil companies to act with common sense not to engage in activities in maritime fields under dispute due to the Cyprus issue and to withdraw from the bidding.

It also warned that the companies that collaborate with Greek Cyprus would not be allowed to join energy projects in Turkey. In addition to opposing the Greek Cypriot plans in the name of defending its sovereign rights in the eastern Mediterranean, Turkey said that the Greek Cypriot plans to distribute licenses to international companies to search for hydrocarbon reserves also violate Turkish Cypriot rights. Cyprus is divided into a Turkish north run by the KKTC and a Greek south. The Greek Cypriot government is internationally recognized to represent the entire island, though not by Turkey.

The Foreign Ministry underlined that Turkish Cypriots have equal and inherent claims on the entire natural resources of the island. The two peoples of the island should decide on how to use the off shore natural resources. We protest this unilateral step which is both irresponsible and provocative, taken by the Greek Cypriots despite all warnings.

Source - Todays Zaman.com

(www.steelguru.com)

Posted By : admin on Mon, 21 May 2012
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