Tensions on the Rise in the E. Mediterranean

Reports in the local press reflect a rise in tensions in the eastern Mediterranean drilling for hydrocarbons. The unilateral initiative by the Greek Cypriots to undertake new drilling projects in their search for gas and oil is raising the stakes.

The deepwater drillship commissioned by French energy company Total and Italian ENI continues its preparations to drill offshore Cyprus. Meanwhile, Turkey’s new drillship ‘Deepsea Metro 2′ is on its way from Norway via the Aegean, and is expected to arrive at Istanbul by the end of the week.

According to Turkish Cypriot daily ‘Starkibris’, Turkey has deployed warships to follow the drillship, although they are maintaining a considerable distance. However a Turkish warplane reported trailed a Greek C130 from Larnaca upto Greek airspace.

Havadis’ reports that Turkey is sending its seismic survey vessel ‘Barbaros Hayreddin Pasa’ to continue its operations offshore the island. It adds that there will be a takeover ceremony for Turkey’s latest acquisition the Deepsea Metro 2 when it arrives at Istanbul with TRNC Energy Minister Sunat Atun in attendance.

Yeni Duzen’ reports that Turkish Energy Minister Berat Albayrak, who made announcements regarding the arrival of the new drillship, also said that no one should consider the eastern Mediterranean as “his father’s property”. He noted that Turkey’s drilling activities would disturb those in some quarters.

StarKibris, Havadis, Yeni Duzen

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