In a written statement, the TRNC government says that South Cyprus is carrying out seismic explorations in the area for which the TRNC had given a license to the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO).
Now tensions are mounting over oil and gas exploration in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, with the Turkish Cypriot ministry of foreign affairs describing the start of the confirmation drilling in block 12 of South Cyprus’s self-declared Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) as an “unfortunate development”.
Drilling of an appraisal well in block 12 of South Cyprus’ EEZ is expected is set to last approximately four months.
The ministry stated that these “provocative steps” are “an unacceptable approach which increases tension in the area”.
“The works carried out within this framework are continuing and in parallel to the new seismic explorations which will be held in the next few days in the blocks for which permits for exploration/extraction were given to TPAO by our government, drilling activities are also planned according to the result which will be taken”, the ministry said.
“In order for peace and stability on the island and in Eastern Mediterranean to be secured, we hope that the Greek Cypriot side will end its daydreaming policies and start constructively contributing to the negotiations in the direction of finding a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem and the research for a common ground to be determined with mutual understanding for carrying out the exploration/extraction activities for hydrocarbon until a solution is reached”, the statement concludes.
Some analysts say the oil and gas exploration will add extra pressure to the any attempt to re-unite the island, with UN sponsored peace talks expected to resume in October.