17 April 2014, Thursday
Today's Zaman

Turkey warns oil majors against Cyprus gas bid

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18 May 2012, Friday /REUTERS
Turkey said on Friday that companies bidding to develop Cyprus' offshore gas fields would be shut out of Turkish energy projects, amid a spat between the rivals about who has rights to potentially vast reserves in the east Mediterranean.

Turkey does not recognise the Nicosia government, seen by the rest of the world as Cyprus' sole authority, and wants offshore exploration to await a peace settlement between the Greek and Turkish communities, estranged since a 1974 Turkish invasion of the north of the island.     

Although Turkey has few oil and gas reserves of its own, the NATO member retains leverage because of its substantial navy and its role as an important transit hub for energy from Russia and the Caspian Sea region.     

"Companies that cooperate with (Greek Cypriots) will not be included in future energy projects in Turkey," the Foreign Ministry said in an e-mailed statement.     

"Turkish Cypriots have the same, indissoluble rights as Greek Cypriots to the natural resources of the island's continental shelf," it said. "Both communities must decide together how maritime natural gas and oil resources will be used."     

French oil major Total, Malaysia's Petronas, Korea's Kogas, Eni of Italy, Russia's Novatek , Delek of Israel and Australia's Woodside Energy Holdings are among the 15 companies who have bid for contracts.      

Cyprus, along with Israel and Lebanon, straddle what may be the biggest natural gas find of the past decade in the politically volatile eastern Mediterranean.     


Nicosia says any exploration is within its rights, and has received backing from its partners in the European Union.      

Turkey, which has also begun exploration work off its Mediterranean coast, sits on strategic energy routes to lucrative Western markets. Eni is part of a venture that wants to build a 340-mile pipeline, worth $3 billion, to ship Russian gas to world markets.      

The potential of the eastern Mediterranean deposits is enormous. U.S.-based Noble Energy last year reported 5-8 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas south of Cyprus -- enough to make Cyprus self-sufficient for 250 years.      

Turkey responded to Noble's exploration by sending out a seismic research vessel accompanied by military escort.     

The question of who has the right to tap the deposits, which could total more than 100 tcf, has added urgency to efforts to settle the conflict over Cyprus and has also brought Lebanon into dispute with Israel over the Jewish state's discoveries.   

Most of the interest shown by bidders this month was for a block lying northeast of the recently discovery on the maritime border between Cyprus and Israel.       

The Turkish Foreign Ministry said the Cypriot tender included a western area that abuts Turkey's continental shelf.      

"As Turkey has previously stated, it will not allow any activity in that area," the statement said.     

Only Turkey recognises the Turkish Cypriot administration and keeps tens of thousands of troops on the island, located some 40 miles off its southern coast.     

The decades-long dispute has threatened to derail Turkey's bid to join the European Union. A member since 2004, Cyprus takes over the bloc's rotating presidency in July, and Turkey has said it will suspend its candidacy during that tenure.     

Efforts to reconcile Greek and Turkish Cypriots have failed more than a dozen times since the 1960s. The two sides are now currently engaged in another round of UN-backed negotiations.

Zero neighbors who haven't been threatened by Turkey.
@ can. You are right. A lot of talk, but when it comes to action, well, then the free education and the support system given to DutchTurk by the Dutch taxpayers are obviously much more attractive to him than supporting Turkey by hard work. We have 5 millions of them in Europe. Really bad ambassadors...
Turkey should start removing it's troops and settlers from Cyprus immediately and then ask for the rights of Turkish Cypriots. Turkey never cared for them anyway.
Turkey should show it's muscles if he wants to be respected, words are not enough
@can, i put you back into the dustbin that delivered you on mother earth, you goof, focus on the content i posted, not on demographics.
Erdogan's "superpower" is powerless to react to the sweeping changes in the Mediterranean. It's the regional geopolitical change some of us were talking about that would liberate Cyprus while most of you were sitting back comfortably laughing...
Looks like your "superb" military is going to have to take on all the others in their region.... and in the balkans.... and in the caucuses...and in Europe,Israel and the USA. If It gets difficult you can always rely on your "supermodern" navy and Mr. Davutouglu!!But it shouldn't be a problem you c...
@ Dutch Turk, OK as long as you are making deals here is one for you. You let the Kurds declare an independent state in Anatolia and they will guarantee that they will not get involved in any terrorist acts from now on against Turkey. How about that?
Mountain Cypriot
Why doesn't this Dutch Turk go back to the dustbin he supports. Why doesn't he choose to live in Turkey if its so good. Typical Turk!
So, again we see Turkey riding on the backs of other countries research and development spending and projects. And once again the whole world sees Turkey's aggressive nature and its resort to threats every time it doesn't get it's way. There is no zero problems with neighbours; just lots of problem...
Lawrence of Arabia
In 1974 when Kissinger gave the go ahead to Turkey for the Cyprus invasion, Turkey was expected to act according to the script given to them by US via Israel. If Turkey does not stick to that script, as they have pretended to have forgotten lately, a new script will be written and implemented that w...
Uncle Billy
Turkey warns..., Turkey demands..., Turkey threatens..., Turkey slams..., Turkey vetoes..., Turkey blah blah blah...Nothing out of the ordinary so far! Just Turkish diplomacy at its best. The usual Turkish doctrine which states "whatever is not yours we take and whatever is yours we plunder." Regard...
@DutchTurk - the only thing that can be envisaged from the wealth that the gas and oil will bring to the RoC is that the TC's will rise up against Turkeish occupation and decide to sit at the negotiating table and negotiatie for themselves, not for Turkey. They will then share the wealth and the ap...
DutchTurk, exactly, that's a great proposal. Greek Cypriots, recognize the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and you can do everything you want exclusively with the Southern side of the island.
Many years back in a statement given by the Turkish Chief of Staff (forgot the name) published in Zaman mentioned about the knowledge that Britain had about existing potentials of oil and gas around the island of Cyprus. Now it appears that the Israeli's worked on this information and managed to kee...
A. Khan
The most important company which is involved in the projects in Cyprus is Gazprom from Rusia. Without them there will be no energy projects in Turkey.
@Andreas, ok lets make a deal, you recognize the Turkish Republic of Cyprus, than you can drill every square inch of the south side of the island. This gas exploitation made the Turkish and Greek Cypriot sides divert even further, you may have your gas, but it will lead to permanent division on the ...
@Levent - Israel and Turkey are a threat to stability in the region. Dont involve the Republic of Cyprus. The RoC has every right to search for Gas and Oil, it is Turkey who has intentionally signed a so called agreement with the north which purposefully overlaps areas which the RoC wants to explo...
Andreas, it's not. It's reminding Greek Cypriots that if they insist on Turkish Cypriots being in the same state as Greek Cypriots, the Turkish Cyriots deserve their fair share of anything. We know you would like to force them to forget who they are and disenfranchise them.
Andreas, it's not. It's reminding Greek Cypriots that if they insist on Turkish Cypriots being in the same state as Greek Cypriots, the Turkish Cyriots deserve their fair share of anything. We know you would like to force them to forget who they are and disenfranchise them.
I do not understand all of this. Are there not internationally recognized laws which regulates who is allowed to benefit from natural resources such as gas, oil, gold etc? Why can this not be settled in a court?
The gaz belongs to Cyprus and Turkey has nothing to do in that. Nicosia is recognized by all the world and by the UN. Turkey is the one that must be warned as Ankara is playing with the fire. As usual Turkey threatens, and spits sensless words.
Turkey wants 2 states in Cyprus so why would it claim the gas finds in the other states area ?
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