Turkey’s second vessel to start drilling in Mediterranean, Erdoğan says

Turkey’s second drilling ship, bought by the state-owned Turkish Petroleum and named Yavuz, will start drilling in the Mediterranean after maintenance and renovation work, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Saturday.

Turkey’s second drillship, which was bought at a cost of $262.5 million, sailed off at Algeciras Port in Spain and arrived Turkey last week.

“We bought our new ship and named it Yavuz. Yavuz will also start drilling work in the Mediterranean,” Erdoğan said while talking in his hometown Rize in other Turkey. 

Erdoğan said that the Turkish government had been facing attacks from those inside the country, while it had been trying to defend the rights of Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots. 

Turkey’s first drillship, Fatih [the Conquerer], started drilling in October off Alanya, a district in the southern province of Antalya. Later, Turkey also started shallow well-drilling in the southern province of Mersin. 

Turkey and Cyprus have stepped up their efforts for gas exploration and drilling over the last half of 2018, while Ankara and Nicosia have been at odds over Turkish Cypriot’s share in gas revenues.

Ankara claims territorial waters which overlap with those of Cyprus, and also supports the territorial rights of the breakaway Turkish Cypriot State in the northern part of the island, which is only recognised by Turkey.

The U.S. oil giant ExxonMobil together with partner Qatar Petroleum (QP) announced on Thursday the discovery of a natural gas reservoir off Cyprus that may be worth between 30 to 40 billion dollars, with an estimated in-place gas resources between 5 trillion to 8 trillion cubic feet

“This is the biggest find so far in Cyprus and based on some official data it is one of the biggest finds worldwide in the past two years,” Cypriot Energy Minister Yiorgos Lakkotrypis said in relation to the discovery in the Glaucus-1 well in Cyprus's Block 10.

Addressing participants at the fourth Delphi Economic Forum on Friday, the former Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias said Turkey should be included in the energy and trade developments in the eastern Mediterranean, Daily Sabah reported

"We must ensure Turkey's participation in the commercial developments there. It should be fair. If we want to take everything to ourselves we might face a huge disappointment. That's why we should include Turkey," Daily Sabah quoted Kotzias as saying.