Sizeable gas deposit discovered off Cyprus

Sizeable gas deposit discovered off Cyprus
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The Eni-Total consortium discovered a new natural gas reserve 160 kilometers southwest of Cyprus. The discovery could escalate tensions between Turkey, Greece and Cyprus.

A new natural gas field with a volume of around 85 billion cubic meters was discovered 160 kilometers southwest of the island of Cyprus, the Cypriot energy ministry said on Wednesday, adding fuel to the already tense climate between Turkey and Greece over drilling rights.

The ministry said that the consortium made up of energy companies Eni of Italy and France’s Total is expediting plans to develop natural gas deposits found inside the same licensed exploration area.

The field, containing a 105-meter column of gas, is located just 5 kilometers west of the “Cronos-1” well where the consortium announced in August an estimated 85 billion cubic meters of natural gas.

The ministry said the newest discovery “reaffirms the promising potential of the area” as Cyprus looks to export the hydrocarbon amid an energy crisis compounded by Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Cyprus has been ethnically split since 1974, when Turkish military intervened in response to a Greek Cypriot coup d’etat, ordered by the military junta in Greece, aiming to unify the island with Greece (ENOSİS). The internationally recognized Republic of Cyprus, governed by the Greek Cypriots, controls the south of the island, and the Turkish Cypriots, the north. The administration in the northern part of Cyprus is only recognized by Turkey.

Turkey, not recognizing the Republic of Cyprus as a state, claims half of the island’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) on behalf of the Turkish Cypriots living in the northern part of Cyprus and carries out drilling in the region, where Greece and the internationally recognized government of Cyprus dispute.