Turkish Energy Minister: We will Embark on Drilling and Exploration Works After Legislature Approval – Al Marsad

The Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Fatih Dönmez, announced in a press conference yesterday that once approval of the Grand National Assembly in Ankara, authorization studies will be undertaken to identify drilling and exploration areas of oil and gas in the jurisdiction areas in the Mediterranean Sea, in line with the new agreement with the GNA. Today the Turkish parliament’s foreign affairs committee endorsed a deal on maritime boundaries in the Mediterranean reached between Turkey and the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA). The committee approved the agreement, which would give Turkey access to an economic zone across the Mediterranean, on Thursday. The parliament’s general assembly was expected to hold a final vote later in the day.
[Libya, 5 December 2019] – Fatih Dönmez, the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources confirmed that the new drilling and exploration concessions will be granted in the economic zones defined according to the scope of the controversial maritime boundaries and economic zones jurisdiction areas’ agreement that was signed last week with the Tripoli Government of National Accord (GNA). The Turkish minister said that the new memorandum with Tripoli on the delimitation of the maritime borders and jurisdiction areas in the Mediterranean Sea is in accordance with the international maritime law, hinting at unnamed countries in the region trying to exclude Turkey from benefitting from the massive reserves of gas that have been discovered recently in the Eastern Mediterranean.

According to the Anadolu News Agency, Fatih Dönmez said that the exploratory work completed to date in the Eastern Mediterranean is utilizing “two drilling vessels, Fatih and Yavuz, along with Oruc Reis and Barbaros Hayrettin Pasa seismic ships.” He said that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), “is currently carrying out hydrocarbon exploration activities” in the region.

It should be recalled that the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in a statement last weekend, said that both Turkey and Libya will not allow the policy of fait accompli any longer, in reference to other Eastern Mediterranean countries’ drilling and exploration works and installations in the region.

The GNA-Turkey agreement has caused a wave of condemnation, rejection, and anger among major Mediterranean regional players who consider the new maritime boundaries and jurisdiction areas memorandum between two countries that have no common borders according to United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, as null and void.

© Al Marsad English (2019)

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