Turkey to Continue Prospecting for Natural Gas off Northern Cyprus
The Turkish Piri Reis exploration vessel will continue its seismic research efforts off southern Cyprus, according to a Turkish official speaking on condition of anonymity.
The Piri Reis has partially completed its work on Block 12, a contested zone where the Republic of Cyprus has also begun drilling for oil and natural gas.
While the Turkish media referred to a story published by the Greek Cypriot daily Phileleftheros, which said that two Israeli F-15 jets flew through the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot airspace and harassed the vessel, Piri Reis Captain Umut Yenice said, "We worked safely, and war jets watched us 24 hours a day," after the ship completed its seismic data collection studies in a 445 square-mile zone around Cyprus under an exploration license from the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus granted by the TRNC Council of Ministers to the state-owned Turkiye Petrolleri Anonim Ortakligi (Turkish Petroleum Corporation, or TPAO) to explore for oil and natural gas in the sea around Cyprus.
Yenice said, "We began seismic studies on September 26, and we have completed our studies in an almost 445 square-mile zone in about ten days," Istanbul's Hurriyet newspaper reported.
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