Turkey unveils plans for E. Mediterranean energy explorations

ANKARA, Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Fatih Donmez said Wednesday his country plans for new oil and gas exploration and production in its maritime jurisdiction in the Eastern Mediterranean region.

The new exploration and production studeis are in line with the recently inked memorandum of understanding with Libya’s UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA), Turkey’s Anadolu Agency (AA) quoted the minister as saying.

Donmez made the press remarks ahead of his meeting with miners from Turkey’s various cities for International Miners Day in Ankara.

“As the case with other areas, the companies that we will grant licenses to will start oil and gas exploration and production studies in maritime jurisdictions within the scope of this agreement,” he pointed out.

On Wednesday, November 27, the Turkish Communications Directorate announced that Turkey and Libya signed two memoranda of understanding, one of which, the Restriction of Marine Jurisdictions, determined a portion of Turkey’s maritime jurisdiction in the region.

Donmez noted that Turkey has for a long time been conducting hydrocarbon exploration studies using its drilling and seismic vessels in the Eastern Mediterranean.

He acknowledged that many parties intended to keep Turkey and Libya out of the game in the Eastern Mediterranean but the agreement with Libya, which is in line with international maritime law, foiled the hostile designs.

Turkey has consistently contested the Greek Cypriot administration’s unilateral drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean, asserting that the TRNC also has rights to the resources in the area.

In 1974, following a coup aiming at Cyprus’s annexation by Greece, Ankara had to intervene as a guarantor power. In 1983, the TRNC was founded.

The decades since have seen several attempts to resolve the Cyprus dispute, all ending in failure. The latest one, held with the participation of the guarantor countries — Turkey, Greece, and the UK — came to an end without any progress in 2017 in Switzerland.

In a statement on Sunday, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said: “Through this agreement with Libya, the two countries have clearly manifested their intention not to allow any fait accompli.”

Source: Kuwait News Agency