Lakkotrypis says Cyprus’s hydrocarbon planning to continue

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By Stelios Orphanides

The minister of energy said that Cyprus’s plans to explore, develop and exploit hydrocarbons in its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) will continue even if Turkish war vessels prevented a drillship hired by Italy’s energy company Eni from approaching its target.

“We are going ahead as we planned,” Yiorgos Lakkotrypis said in an interview to state-radio CyBC on Monday just days after the drillship Saipem 12000 left the area of block 3 where it failed to reach its drilling target Cuttlefish. “The drilling at Cuttlefish has been postponed, which is not a good development. This however is not cancelling anything else that we have planned and is in progress”.

A framework agreement governing the construction of an undersea pipelines which will allow Cyprus to sell natural gas to one of Egypt’s liquefaction plants will be forwarded to the European Commission for comments before the Cypriot and Egyptian governments sign it, he said and added that comments made by Egyptian officials show that things are going the way “we have planned”.

“After negotiations are completed –and we are already in an advanced stage– the pipeline project will have to enter the implementation stage, a job for a joint venture,” he added. “The companies involved in negotiations, have expressed their willingness to invest in this pipeline which shows that it is financially viable”.

Developing block 12 Aphrodite would cost around 3 billion (euros) while the construction of the pipeline another billion (euros), he said.

The decision of Turkey, which opposes the Republic of Cyprus’s hydrocarbon plans as long as the island remains divided, to block ENI’s drillship from accessing its drill target spoiled the euphoria generated by the company’s February 8, announcement of a promising gas reserve after drilling at Calypso in block 6 of the EEZ.

In addition, Turkey claims a large portion of the Cypriot EEZ on the grounds that it stretches over Turkish continental self, including part of block 6. Turkish Cypriots signed a ‘continental shelf delimitation agreement’ with Turkey in September 2011 which they interpret in a way that gives them parts of the Cypriot EEZ, including block 3. Reunification talks broke down in July last year.

“I am not surprised by Turkey’s behaviour,” Lakkotrypis continued. “It is besides a country that does not respect its citizens, let alone its neighbours. What surprised me most it was the Turkish Cypriots and their statements in recent days. It was an unpleasant surprise”.

Ozdil Nami, who holds the energy resort in the Turkish Cypriot ‘government’ said that Greek and Turkish Cypriots should jointly manage the natural reserves or the Cypriot hydrocarbon programme should be frozen until the settlement of the Cyprus problem.

According to Turkey’s interpretation, Cyprus’s EEZ is restricted to 30 per cent of what it is today, he said. “If we accept the Turkish version, that means that Aphrodite lies within Israel’s EEZ,” Lakkotrypis said. On top, Calypso and Onisiforos, a reserve containing negligible amounts of natural gas discovered by Total, and the whole block 10, would lie in Egypt’s EEZ and block 3 in Lebanon’s EEZ.

“A serious question (the Turkish Cypriots) should answer is whether they accept the Turkish version of the EEZ while they are asking for (joint) management,” he added.

“The Turkish Cypriots are talking about dividing the EEZ before the settlement,” Lakkotrypis who has also been nominated to continue at his post also when the second term of President Nicos Anastasiades, said. “Natural resources however are not only hydrocarbons. Land is also a natural resource and was a more important resource 20 to 30 years ago when we had an agriculture-based economy. Why should we focus on hydrocarbons and why should they be divided with or without a solution?”

Lakkotrypis added that Cyprus is planning more steps concerning its energy programme in its EEZ which concern collaboration projects that shows that the companies involved “are standing on our side and believe in the Republic of Cyprus’s prospects” in developing its hydrocarbons.

“There are continuous developments in this direction but there is nothing that can be announced yet,” he added. “We must however think about how we are re-adjusting our strategy after everything that has happened to the new framework that Turkey is trying to shape with its aggressive behaviour”.

The minister said that while the scenario of Turkey preventing Eni from drilling at block 3 was among the possible scenarios, it was not deemed as a likely-one. In the past, while Turkey did harass the vessels of other energy companies with its naval and air forces, it never prevented them from accessing their target.

“Turkey also was tried to intimidate the countries of the companies operating here as well as the very companies and failed,” he said. “Now it is trying to intimidate us”.

In response to a question whether a possible visit of the Emir of Qatar, a close ally of Turkey, to Athens may be related to Cyprus, Lakkotrypis said that he was not aware. Qatar’s state company Qatar Petroleum is partner in the joint venture led by the US ExxonMobil that won the licence for block 10 last year.

“I know there is interest of the particular joint venture for the Greek EEZ, as we saw it in Cyprus’s third (oil and gas) licencing round,” Lakkotrypis said. “But I do not know what meetings took place and whether they took place in Athens”.

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About Author

Stelios Orphanides is a journalist at CyprusBusinessMail.com. To contact Stelios Orphanides: [email protected]

  • Bunny

    Cypriot gas is a pipe-dream as long as world prices remain low for CNG and LNG. Better to do nothing until viable means of exploiting the gas happen, which won’t be for at least a decade.

  • Douglas

    Business as usual but not if Turkish Government will not let you ?

  • turkishcypriot

    Greek Cypriots carry on being in denial. They are running the so called ROC on the basis of miscalculations. They miscalculated the aftermaths of the Annan Plan. They have done the same with the last conference in Switzerland. They are doing it now with the exploration of oil and gas. One wonders sometimes. Is there any clever politician in the Greek Cypriot administration who can put aside the GC mentality and act as true statesman. Obviously not.

    • Rächer

      This is where we make the mistake thinking that it’s their politicians holding power. Nothing of the sort. The people wielding the power is the church and if the so called political parties do not toe the line, the man with the long frock will soon oust them.

      • turkishcypriot

        The Church’s role in GC politics is well known. There is no ambiguity there.

    • AnalogMind

      I am glad you figured it out. We need to offer you a position in government for excessive brightness in thinking. But at least let those who miscalculate, define first what exists and then you can sit down with them to discuss your claims. There is nothing to share for a good 20-30 years from now. This is a very long term game and we haven’t even started yet. Asking for a prenuptial agreement even before a marriage is possible, sounds extremely foolish to me and everyone else who looks at this mess of your own making. At least allow people who are more capable and smarter than you to form the basis for “sharing” because as things stand there is absolutely nothing to share.

      • turkishcypriot

        Are you talking about the Greek Cypriots. Because there is only one mess here and the GCs all drowning in it. Turkish Cypriots will never go into a marriage with the Greek Cypriots. This is something the GC’s head doesn’t want to accept. From where I am standing I haven’t come across a reasonably intelligent GCs. And don’t try the smart ass. You won’t even come close.

        • AnalogMind

          It does not take a genius to figure out that Turkey is talking about her own claims and has zero desire to share anything with you. If it did, then how come Turkey is not sharing with the TCs the gas Turkey found in the Black Sea? Wake up! You are used as pawns in a game from which in the end you will get nothing. Your only chance to get something is through the ROC. So stop biting the hand that might feed you someday because what you are doing right now is not very intelligent. It’s a fool’s game.

          • Orhan Ozdes

            Some brains!, Oh my God some brains!

          • AnalogMind

            I am not sure if your comment is sarcastic or not but I am sure there is better way to deal w/ TC rights.

  • alexander reutersward

    Lakkotrypis can proceed as planned, but will ENI, Total and the others take the financial risk at the current climate (gas prices is low, risk of conflicts high).

  • Rächer

    The South can make all the plans it wants ….as long as the TRNC is consulted, is a beneficiary and is part of the plan. Otherwise kiss your plans goodbye.
    The new TRNC slogan: SHARE IT OR LOSE IT.

    • AnalogMind

      You can’t share that which does not exist.

    • Chris Witha C

      No-one recognizes your pseudo state except your peasant run Turkey!
      If Turks stopped thinking of themselves as Turks and thought of themselves a CYPRIOTS then maybe then there will be a solution but NO, it’s dicks like you that cause the problems in Cyprus!… put that in your pipe and smoke it!

      • Kibris74

        Say that to your hellnic elam swines

        • Chris Witha C

          Mr kibris…. You are a sad little boy…. Few words and just full of peasant words….get a life…. Tell Erdogan to give u a job instead of your goat herding…. And get yourself a girlfriend instead of a goat.

          • Kibris74

            Uncle Chris I suggest you stick to speaking Greek as your English is extremely poor..ask Papa Chrystomos to make you a priest and maybe we can give you a job in Karpaz?

  • Les

    Egypt is not paying its own producers how are they planning on building a pipeline and guarantee they will pay for Cypriot gas? It is a bankrupted state.

    • Evergreen

      Exactly

    • HighTide

      Not only that, they have enough gas on their own.

    • AnalogMind

      There are always 2 types of gas: the sort of gas you need to use for yourself and then the excess part that’s available to export. Guess what type the Cypriot gas will be.

      • Les

        In the end the EU will ‘call the shots ‘ here. Western Europe is trying to ween itself off of Russian gas …. for good reasons and as such if they want this gas they will get it. Also, there is talk of building a joint pipeline to Europe with Israel – who have gas surpluses of their own. Egypt has a lot of its own resources and gas in the region

        • AnalogMind

          Fine. Nevertheless it’s not worth it to fight about something that has very long ways to go just to be worth fighting for.

  • Rächer

    SHARE IT OR LOSE IT.

  • AnalogMind

    In the large scheme of things, Turkey’s mickey mouse nonsense amounts to zero. Proceed and pay zero attention to Turkish nonsense. Not even acknowledge they exist.

    • Orhan Ozdes

      Tell them AnalogMind. Just tell them!

  • Chris Witha C

    Has anyone noticed the same trolls always come in to blow their hot air about their Turkish motherland????…. must be their Turkish newspapers are boring to read!…. just go back home to where you trolls came from and stop sticking your noses in other peoples business…. go and live in Turkey with your donkeys and goats you peasants….you have nothing to contribute that’s positive here…all about your mother land which is run by a dictator….. for your information, most of the TC have left the island…. there’s only 18%…. which ones are you?….probably you’re one of those Turkish peasant main-landers who are still living in the past….sick of you peasant Turks!

    • Orhan Ozdes

      Some civilised, European comment from a enlightened European!

      • Chris Witha C

        Now that’s a typical peasant comment from a Turkish peasant!

        • Kibris74

          You would say that sitting behind a screen barking like a coward with no balls

          • Chris Witha C

            Big words from a little boy… Did mummy buy u some big boy pants now you dick?

          • Kibris74

            Are the big words too hard for you to digest Uncle Chris?

          • Chris Witha C

            More like you cantc handle it…. Maybe because you my turkish peasant friend has the short end of the stick… Get over it!

          • Kibris74

            I’ve dealt with bigger ball-less Greeks then you uncle chris..bring it onnnnnnn

          • Chris Witha C

            Really now!…. Kibris you sad little kid….. just face it, your race is the most despicable race on this earth, I feel sorry for you. It must be hard to be a peasant Turk. Thinking that your race is so superior to the rest of the world, waving your pathetic little red flag around. I would be ashamed of myself to be a Turk. No-one in the rest of the world likes Turks like you because of their peasant mentality. And you call yourself a Muslim, ha!…. a pathetic excuse for one! Study your history mate, not your indoctrinated one told to you by your motherland. Turks don’t even belong in this side of the world. You’re all descendants from the Mongols. Barbarians and peasants….not worth wasting my time with a pathetic little ant like you.

          • Kibris74

            Well Im extremely glad that youre not a Turk uncle Chris…you are not worthy of the honour…plus theres no place for ball-less coward Greeks who are all talk and no action in our society. You should feel sorry for yourself…Im doing absolutely fine waving my lovely white and red flag and admiring the beautiful light show we have on the five finger mountains…So you carry on living the trashy Hellenic dream and wait for your pension to be paid by the EU…

          • Chris Witha C

            Thank God I’m not a Turk like you!… You sound pathetic!…. Enjoy your little light show on the mountain and wave your crappy red flag, that’s all you have to look for for the rest of your life… I at least have better one than u and I will retire in the Bahamas with my Family. Not like you who probably expects to get his wage working in a kebab shop…. It’s Turks like you that are brainwashed to think Turkish nationalism is the only thing viable for themselves….. I dont hate Turkish Cypriots…. It’s Turks I don’t like because of attitudes like you…. Grow up Mr kibris… And change your attitude… The world doesn’t revolve around Turkey! …and if anyone that is Ball less, it’s YOU…..not wasting anymore time on a goat loving Turk like you…. Tell Erdogan he can kiss my arse!

          • Kibris74

            I thankgod your not a Turk too..as I said t
            Elam nazi trash like you arent worth it…and guess what Uncle Chris Turkish cypriots dont like pig headed Greeks like you! ” tell erdogan to kiss my arse” seriously? And your telling me to grow up? Fool..the perfect retirement home for scum like you is hell..bon voyage!

          • Chris Witha C

            Typical kid response!.. and even worse, a Turk!

          • Kibris74

            Uncle Chris I think you need to bring your retirement forward..you sound too stressed out.

    • Kibris74

      Shut your mouth you dumb Elam Sh*tbag…!

      • Chris Witha C

        Make me!…. you peasant!

    • Kibris74

      Why dont you talk about your peasants who stand in line at food banks in Athens? Or the jobless beggars out on the streets because the Greek government has no money to pay them? Oh sorry I forgot it sad the Greek peasant government that was BEGGING Germany for money otherwise your country was going to collapse! Loser

      • Chris Witha C

        Kibris74, get a life!… Go and get yourself some big boy pants and grow up!

        • Kibris74

          Got one thank you…and its better than the scumbag Elam life you lead

          • Chris Witha C

            Doesn’t look like it from my point of view….must be all that goat herding you do!

          • Kibris74

            Like your dirty Elam point of view actually means anything?

          • Chris Witha C

            And u think anyone is listening to you???…. don’t think so!…. Just a lot of lofty words and hot air coming out your mouth of a peasant.

          • Kibris74

            I think you’ll find there are many people listening..mainly scumbags like yourself

          • Chris Witha C

            Far from it!…. more like you’re the one stressed out, not me mate!
            Maybe you need to come up with some better come backs, you seem to be running out of them!

          • Kibris74

            Firstly Im not your “mate” you little elliniki f*ukface..secondly pathetic losers like you bore me…why dont you go spend some time with your ” family” ? They will be crying for you once your in hell

          • Chris Witha C

            Kibris you loser, maybe you should change your name from Kibris to Dickless…. and secondly, I’m not your uncle, your uncle is a goat!
            You loser!

          • Kibris74

            And your mother is a p*g haha

          • Chris Witha C

            Big words from Dickless!…typical Turk import reaction!…. a real fake Turkish Cypriot!

          • Kibris74

            Not big words at all..its the only language low lifes like you understand and appreciate..

          • Chris Witha C

            Can’t get any lower than you Dickless!….listen tell your donkey of a mother to give you a new book with better comeback as yours are very boring!

          • Kibris74

            Youre already the lowest of the low..I wouldn’t spit on trash like you..at the end of the day a pig gave birth to you so I expect you to behave like a pig too..how many piglets have you produced?

          • Chris Witha C

            Is that the best u can do????…. Maybe you should as your goat father to give you a new comeback book because your donkey mother’s book is hopeless!….sounds like your getting frustrated Dickless!….LMAO.

          • Kibris74

            Your the one losing hair dearest chris..I am mega chilled out..im imagining you and your little piggy family covered in your own sh*t and laughing to myself lol

          • Chris Witha C

            Try again Dickless….maybe you should ask another member of your donkey family…lol

          • Kibris74

            That was the lamest come Chris..gosh your really showing your age now!

          • Chris Witha C

            Kibris, I can see you can’t be original resorting to repeating my come backs…. Try again….all I keep reading is more crap from you….shows how much of a dick you are….lol

          • Kibris74

            Repeating your comebacks? Please Chris thats just silly now isnt it..obviously your going to be reading from crap from me..Im hardly going to say nice things about Cu%ts like you

          • Chris Witha C

            Kibris don’t kid yourself, everyone already knows you’re Dickless and full of crap and according to the type of langagel you use, uneducated and a peasant. That’s what a fake TC would say… you’re no real TC….youre y one of those Turkish imports that thinks they believe they have rights here….go back to Turkey you fake!

          • Kibris74

            Oh Because your so civilised and well spoken arent you Chris? With your typical scummy elam attitude. Your opinion has no importance …I really couldn’t give a cr*p.Im not here to prove anything to a douche bag like yourself. Im happy in MY country…unlike you sitting there in England like an insignificant little fool acting like an expert on Cyprus. You can tell what a trashy unbringing youve had by your economic migrant parents who pretended they were refugees and f**ked off to England . Did they send you to sunday greek school? Is that what you got indoctrinated? I pitty anyone that shares the same blood as you

          • Chris Witha C

            Blah blah blah!…. more crap coming out of your mouth you fake TC.
            No-one listens to your rants about the Greeks and so on because you’re full of it…. go read your Turkish propaganda newspapers and leave the comments to people with the big boy pants…. you have nothing to contribute…get a life! And for your info, I’m Australian you wanker!…lol
            I’m up to date on world affairs, not like you who reads the village newspaper and thinks the whole world is revolving around you.

          • Kibris74

            For the fourth time scum bag i have a life..why you repeating yourself a broken record? Can you not read? The only thing your up to date with is bullsh*t dearest Chris..aha I see sooo you lost your house in the north and decided run off to Australia to get your BEGGING bowl out? Since your AUSTRALIAN..dont stick your nose in TRNC affairs you loser.

          • Chris Witha C

            I don’t think you have a life because you’re a dickless wonder!…. please get a life and I’m not your dearest. Cyprus was here thousands of years before Turkey you dick!

          • Kibris74

            Again do I look like I give a dam about what you think? You shouldnt be thinking at all.your just a biter little c*ck who likes regurgitate greek bullsh*t

          • Chris Witha C

            Yes you do give a damn as you keep coming back with lame responses with typical uneducated illiterate Muslim peasant Turkish attitude. Your lame dumb ass president is trying to be a major player on the world stage, he’s Johnny come lately… bet you don’t know what that term means you dumb phuq!… Tell you Donkey parents to give you an education in some other country other than your peasant Turkey you dickless wonder!… now let’s see what lame response you will come back with Dickless.

          • Kibris74

            Ive already had the best education already..more then what your pig penniless parents offered you. Do you even know what illiterate means you thick twat? If I were illiterate I wouldnt be able to response to your crap would I Einstein?

          • Chris Witha C

            Really now dumb ass!….so you think you’re an intellectual….LMAO.
            Dickless, you have the intelligence of a slug. I’m convince your father had sex with a goat to have you. You’re pathetic! Go back to Turkey you illegal alien.

          • Kibris74

            I dont think im an intellectual..I know I am. Lets face it anyone could be intellectual in comparison to you. You have the IQ of a swine..which you no doubt inherited from your dumbass mother. Im already in my country…I cant say the same about you though! Did your refugee parents cry to the Australians for handouts? I guess thats a common thing in Greek culture crying for handouts

          • Chris Witha C

            Kibris or should I say Dickless, your a real dick….intellectual my foot…. you have enough intellect as a slug. you got your looks from your donkey mother or was she a goat?…. makes no difference! and for your info, I was born in Australia, not like you who was imported to Cyprus from Turkey… you’re one of those refugees from the part of Turkey where the people walk on their hands a feet….. must be descendants of monkeys like your other members of your family. you wouldn’t know what intelligence was even if it came along and bit you on your bum. As for handouts, you’re probably getting them from UNICEF as your’re probably underfed in your village. You wouldn’t even know what civilization is being where you are, you think a train is a donkey pulling a cart….enough said about you as I really feel sorry for how stupid you are you dick.

          • Kibris74

            Oh dear oh dear did I hit a nerve? I think I did…whoops..!! LOL You sould like a cat whose tails been stepped on..”Unicef monkeys goat villages” is that all you got to throw at me? I know you feel sorry for me..you told me thay already like a million times. You have such a big heart full of sympathy..you big softy! Your Christian conscious is really begining to show now..awwww

  • clergham

    I pray that Yiorgos’ optimism is not misplaced

    I worry that Turkey may torpedo the next drillship to come into contested waters

  • Kibristan

    At this rate there is a high risk of something going wrong and people getting hurt.
    No sensible reason why the drilling cannot wait until both sides agree who/what/when.