Italian energy company announced New discovery on 8 February 2018 that “it has made a lean discovery in ‘Block 6’ Offshore Cyprus with Calypso 1 NFW.

The well, which was drilled in 2,074 meters of water depth reaching a final total depth of 3,827 meters, encountered an extended column in rocks of Miocene and Cretaceous age. The Cretaceous sequence has excellent reservoir characteristics. Calypso 1 is a promising discovery and confirms the extension of the “Zohr like” play in the Cyprus .” Zohr is a giant reserve discovery by within the ian EEZ () with an estimated recoverable reserve of 850 billion cubic meters.

In parallel, in Nicosia, Cypriot Energy Minister Yiorgos Lakkotrypis made a complimentary announcement claiming that the discovery was “… a particularly positive development because it is the second substantive discovery in the Cypriot EEZ (), which increases the reserves of Cyprus in natural ,”.

For the so-called “Block 6” for which the opened a bid despite ’s strong ning claiming that that area was partially within ’s EEZ and described the licensing as a “provocative act.” In a letter submitted on 2 May 2017 to the United Nations’ General Assembly, ’s permanent representative to the UN, Feridun Sinirlioglu, has said that “ is committed to protecting its sovereign rights emanating from international law and will not allow foreign companies to conduct unauthorized exploration and exploitation activities on its continental shelf as it was strongly underlined in several statements on the issue by the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, most recently on 6 April 2017.”

New gas discovery

 

 

The , openly pampered by the EU and timidly by the US, seems confident that ’s threats will be ineffective. For the so-called “Block 6”, Italia’s and ’s TOTAL are partners (50% each) to develop the block aded by the .

may be confident with the EU and US backing reinforced by the two powerful an energy companies and may be trying to use their chance particularly in a period in which is busy to militarily defeat the PKK threat along it’s southern borders. No need to say, this is a very dangerous gamble.

The so-called “Block 6” is partially within ’s EEZ. Moreover, the do not have an exclusive right to develop the reserves around the island themselves even if it does not fall in ’s EEZ, since those reserves should be together developed by the Turkish Cypriots. However, the insist on trying to unilaterally develop such resources including the Aphrodite field.

The Aphrodite reserve was first claimed to contain 230 billion cubic meters (bcm) recoverable reserve by the . Then the estimated reserve declined to 190 bcm and then finally to 129 bcm. Such a volume is meaningful and vitally valuable for the island if developed together by the two sides (Turkish and ) however the are unilaterally trying to develop the field and use this position as a carrot and stick tactic for the “solution” negotiations. By the way, they tend to forget the fact that such a limited volume do not have any chance alone to be exported neither as LNG nor via pipeline to by-pass and feed the an markets. Tareq Baconi notes in his report[1] prepared for the an  Council on Foreign Relations in April 2017 that “…there is consensus that Aphrodite is too small to justify the capital investment needed for its development. …any prospective LNG terminal would be a greenfield infrastructure project, and the return on invested capital from projected flows would be insufficient to make the project worthwhile…”    Adam Lomas has a similar opinion: “The found Cyprus on its own may not rant the building of a massive infrastructure such as an on-shore LNG plant, but the region collectively may well have the potential for building and maintaining such an infrastructure.” Here he mainly points out the Israeli which has it’s own problems.

The road that the have chosen is a dead-end street. They do not have any right to unilaterally develop any resource around the island. On the other hand, ignoring ’s claims for the extension of her EEZ and testing her determination on this specific issue is more than gambling and is an extremely dangerous step.  By the way, the best and most feasible market for the Mediterranean is the Turkish market and all the parties should never forget this practical truth before going further with their “strategies”.