Third offshore drilling vessel arrives in Turkey

Turkey’s third offshore drilling vessel, the Kanuni, arrived in Turkey Sunday following a journey from a UK port, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Dönmez said.

The personnel onboard the Kanuni located offshore the southern province of Mersin will be put under quarantine inside the ship as a preventive measure against the deadly coronavirus, the minister said on Twitter. 

Officials will begin the maintenance and development process for the ship, which has a drilling depth capacity of up to 11,400 meters, following the quarantine period, he added.

The Kanuni follows the Yavuz and the Fatih drillships as Turkey’s third  oil and natural gas exploration and drilling vessel.

The minister in February announced the new vessel would likely operate either in the Eastern Mediterranean or the Black Sea.

Turkey's deployment of vessels to search for oil and gas in the region has sparked a dispute with Greek Cyprus while prompting the EU to hit Ankara with sanctions.

Gas drilling vessels Fatih and Yavuz have operated inside Cyprus’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) since May. Turkey has sent two warships to the region to escort the drilling vessels.

Turkey maintains that Turkish Cypriots have a right to a share the revenue from natural gas reserves off the divided island of Cyprus, while the Cypriot government says the matter will be resolved after a peace deal is established in the divided island.

Cyprus’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) partially overlaps with Turkey’s continental shelf, according to Ankara.

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