South Cyprus Energy Minister Yiorgos Lakkotrypis was asked about the Turkish seismic vessel Barbaros, which has variously ventured into South Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
Lakkotrypis, who was addressing MPs on the House Finance committee on Monday, regarding drilling activities offshore the south of the island, said its movements are “closely monitored by the Republic of Cyprus, so we have a way of knowing where it moved at which time”.
“Of course, we have no way of knowing whether it laid cable or conducted technical research, or whether it was just going around,” he said.
Lakkotrypis did not rule out the possibility that Turkey might acquire a drill ship and press ahead on drilling in the north of Cyprus, but said there would be more to it than that.
“Several companies that own drills or other equipment are trying to sell them. But our intel says that Turkey doesn’t have the know-how to operate a drill. Even if it were to buy one, it would have to seek and commission the services of third parties.”
“During this period the oil and natural gas industry is not at its best, it is under pressure,” he said.