Turkey’s ship Yavuz set to begin drilling in Med Sea

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Turkey‘s Yavuz drilling vessel has reached Güzelyurt-1 well location in the Mediterranean Sea to continue oil and gas exploration activities, the energy and natural resources minister has said.

“Our Yavuz drilling vessel has arrived at Güzelyurt-1 location,” Turkey’s Fatih Dönmez wrote on Twitter on Oct. 5.

“Our ship, which has begun location anchorage activities, will start drilling as soon as possible after completing all of its preparations,” he added.

Ahead of its second mission, Yavuz carried out its operations at the Karpaz-1 well, located in the Bay of Gazimağusa, also known as Famagusta, in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).

Yavuz is undertaking a new expedition in Turkey’s continental shelf in the northeast of Cyprus, according to an official.

“Yavuz will launch a new round of offshore drilling operations on Oct. 7, 2019,” Çağatay Erciyes, acting director general at the Turkish Foreign Ministry, said on Twitter.

“The drilling area lies within the Turkish CS [continental shelf] registered with the UN,” he added.

The Turkish government granted Turkish Petroleum drilling permits in 2012, the official went on to say.

Yavuz will continue to work in the Mediterranean Sea until January 2020.

Turkey, as a guarantor nation for the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus (TRNC), is currently carrying out hydrocarbon exploration activities in the Eastern Mediterranean with its drilling vessels, Fatih and Yavuz, along with two other seismic vessels that are also operating in the same region.

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.

Pompeo speaks in Greece

Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has warned Turkey not to engage in drilling activity that is “illegal” and “unacceptable.”

“We’ve made clear that operations in international waters are governed by a set of rules. We’ve told the Turks that illegal drilling is unacceptable and we’ll continue to take diplomatic actions to … ensure that lawful activity takes place,” he said on Oct. 5 during a visit to Greece.

“No country can hold Europe hostage,” he told a press briefing.

Greek Cyprus government lashed out at Turkey’s attempt to drill for gas in the Mediterranean waters where France’s Total and Italy’s Eni companies are already licensed to conduct a search.

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