Turkish drillship Fatih will start a new drilling operation off Cyprus in a few weeks’ time, it was announced on Wednesday.
Turkey’s Energy Minister Fatih Donmez said the Fatih, which at the moment is in Mersin for refuelling and maintenance, will begin drilling in a few weeks.
The Fatih last week left its location west of Cyprus where it had been anchored since May. It had carried out drilling in two locations dubbed by Turkey as ‘Finike1’ and ‘Finike 2’.
“It has completed its drilling in the Finike and has come to the port of Tasucu in Mersin for refueling,” Donmez said.
He added that in a few weeks it will start again drilling in areas licensed by the Turkish Cypriot administration.
In early May Turkey sent the Fatih to waters well inside Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone, at a location about 60km west of Paphos.
Donmez said Turkey’s second drillship, the Yavuz, has started drilling in the ‘Morphou’ target a few weeks ago.
He added that the research vessels Oruc Reis and Barbaros are continuing their investigations.
“If there is anything, we will find it and we will announce it,” he said.
The Yavuz arrived in block 7, which the Republic of Cyprus has licensed for gas exploration, in early October. It is expected to remain there until January 20.
Turkey disputes Cyprus ownership of fossil fuels in the area, arguing that Turkish Cypriots are entitled to a share of the resources. Ankara also has its own claims in the area.