Turkey ship set to begin drilling for oil, gas in Mediterranean | Cyprus News
A Turkish ship is heading to its first drilling spot for oil and natural gas in the eastern Mediterranean, according to state media, in a move that is likely to reawaken tensions with neighbouring Cyprus and Greece over jurisdiction.
Attempts to tap gas and oil in the region have recently caused friction between Athens and Ankara as well as between the Greek Cypriot-run Republic of Cyprus and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), a self-proclaimed state only recognised by Turkey.
Turkey and the internationally recognised Greek Cypriot government have overlapping claims of jurisdiction for offshore oil and gas research in the eastern Mediterranean, a region thought to be rich in natural gas.
Speaking at a ceremony for the launch of the drilling ship "Fatih" on Tuesday, Fatih Donmez, Turkey's energy and natural resources minister, said the first point of drilling has been planned at 100km off the southern province of Antalya.
"Turkey has set its main goal as independence in energy," Donmez said. "We don't have an eye on others' resources, our only issue is to present to our people the riches within our territory."
The first borehole will be some distance from the disputed territory, which lies further south and around Cyprus.
Turkey is almost completely reliant on imports to meet its energy needs and the lira's tumble against the dollar this year has driven up that cost, putting pressure on companies to raise prices for consumers.
To meet more of its needs domes....