Turkey’s drill ship “Fatih” has found its first gas reserves in the potentially hydrocarbon-rich area around the island of Cyprus, Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs Postası reported on Monday.
The Fatih is the first Turkish surveying vessel to begin drilling in the seas around the island. The second, “Yavuz”, began drilling operations in July.
A Greek Cypriot newspaper, Fileleftheros, reported earlier this week that the Fatih had struck gas reserves of up to 170 billion cubic meters in the waters of Paphos in Greek Cypriot-controlled southwest Cyprus.
Kıbrıs Postası quoted a diplomatic source as saying the story was credible.
“It’s true that Turkey found something”, the newspaper quoted its “high level” source as saying. The source said a formal announcement would have to be made by the Turkish Petroleum Corporation.
Turkey says parts of the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) set out by the Republic of Cyprus lies on its continental shelf, and opposes other drilling by the republic since it says this infringes on the rights of Turkish Cypriots.
The European Union considers Turkey’s drilling activities illegal and has been discussing measures including sanctions to level at the country in response.
The EU is expected to announce plans for sanctions against Turkey on Monday