Turkey’s foreign affairs ministry on Tuesday warned energy companies that expressed interest during the third hydrocarbons licencing round in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) for block 6 that any exploratory activity is unauthorised as part of the block lies within the Turkish continental shelf.
According to an article published in Milliyet, the Turkish foreign ministry’s spokesman Tanju Bilgiç said that a significant part of the block six lies within Turkey’s continental shelf hence the presence of foreign companies for unauthorised hydrocarbon exploration and extraction activities are not possible.
The government announced last week that the energy ministry received a total of six bids from eight companies for its third licencing round for offshore exploration in blocks 6, 8 and 10 of Cyprus’ EEZ.
US energy giant ExxonMobil filed a bid jointly with Qatar Petroleum for block 10; while a consortium of Italy’s ENI and France’s Total, also applied for block 10, as well as for block 6.
In addition, a consortium of Capricorn, a subsidiary of Scotland’s energy company Cairn, with Israel’s energy companies Delek and Avner, bid for block 8, for which ENI also applied.
Turkey’s claims that part of block 6 lies within the Turkish continental shelf are not new. Last March, Turkey slammed the Cyprus government over the announcement of a third licencing round for natural gas exploration within the island’s EEZ. The Turkish foreign ministry had said that the “Greek Cypriot administration” was challenging the right of Turks on the island at a time when the two sides were negotiating reunification.
Turkey’s claims partly overlap with Cyprus’ blocks 1, 4, 6 and 7. Ankara also supports the breakaway regime’s claims on blocks 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 12 and 13, including within few kilometres from the Aphrodite gas field.