After Cyprus announced preferred bidders for four offshore blocks (2, 3, 9, 11) last week Ankara repeated its objections to the licensing round. Winners included Gazprom (via Gazprombank), oil major Total, Italy’s premier oil company Eni and South Korea’s Kogas, which is one of the world’s largest LNG importers (MEES, 2 November).

Ankara can do very little to stymie participation by Eni and Total in the major international pipeline projects crossing its soil (TANAP, BTC and SCP) but has other projects where it can exert pressure. “If Eni goes into such a thing, then we will think over their Turkey investments. As you know, it has a share in the Samsun-Ceyhan [pipeline], and of course we might put this on our agenda,” Turkey’s Energy Minister, Taner Yildiz, told Turkish daily Hürriyet on 3 November. However, keen not to endanger its strategic relationship with Russia or create additional friction with France, Turkey has thus far only singled out Eni for criticism. (CONTINUED - 280 WORDS)