Turkey on Wednesday issued two navigational telexes (navtexes) to conduct research within Cyprus’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) southwest of Paphos, in a move certain to revive tensions in the region.
The move prompted Cyprus to respond with its own navtex declaring the Turkish ones illegal. However, despite recent Turkish activities around Cyprus, island authorities say that gas exploration in Block 11 has not been impacted. Turkey does not recognize Cyprus’s right to explore for gas in its EEZ, saying the resources must be shared with Turkish Cypriots.
Meanwhile, energy giant ExxonMobil announced on Wednesday that it is planning two drillings in Cyprus’s EEZ in the latter half of 2018. Speaking at a presentation in Nicosia, ExxonMobil’s vice president for Europe, Russia and the Caspian, Tristan Aspray, said that “preparations for two exploration wells are targeted to begin in the second half of 2018 and future steps are dependent on exploration results.”