The Turkish Cypriot side will take action along with Turkey against the Cyprus government over a confirmatory drilling set to take place in the ‘Aphrodite’ gas field block 12, as they claim it lies within their ‘exclusive economic zone’, reports from the north said on Thursday.

According to a report in Halkin Sesi, the ‘foreign ministry’ in the north said that Greek Cypriot side continues to insist on “unilateral actions” in the Eastern Mediterranean and escalate the tension.

“While the Greek Cypriot administration continues its persistent unilateral activities, we will continue to take all measures to protect our legitimate rights and interests together with Turkey and take all steps that can be taken,” the statement said, reiterating the position that the Turkish Cypriot people, as co-owners of Cyprus, have equal rights to all resources on and around the island.

The statement also claims that the ‘TRNC’ has said at every opportunity it can that it prefers to resolve the matter through dialogue and cooperation and recalls the comprehensive proposals submitted to the Greek Cypriot side in 2011, 2012, 2019 and July 1, 2022.

On Wednesday, Energy Minister George Papanastasiou said that Chevron will shortly begin drilling in the Aphrodite field to confirm further deposit quantities.

Speaking on CyBC, the minister said that for this purpose a floating drilling rig had already been dispatched to Cyprus’ EEZ.

Responding to a comment about the recent flurry of information surrounding the island’s energy prospects, the minister gave an overview of achievements to date, saying progress had been achieved, with confirmation secured for units A1 and A2 and the latest now expected in A3.

Italy’s largest oil and gas company Eni has completed quantity confirmation drilling in Zeus and Kronos and is expected to drill in Calypso by end of year or early 2024, Papanastasiou said.