Turkish Petroleum (TPAO) has completed drilling an oil well begun last April in northern Cyprus and will soon begin another, Turkey’s Anatolia News Agency reported on 18 September. Speaking in Ankara, Turkey’s Minister of Energy Taner Yildiz said a second well is planned in the part of the island controlled by Turkey. The onshore Turkyurdu-1 well, located northwest of Famagusta on the eastern side of the island, was spudded on 26 April in response to the offshore drilling program being carried out by the Republic of Cyprus in its offshore exclusive economic zone (MEES, 7 May). It was drilled to a depth of 4,075 ms, but no results were given. Mr Yildiz said the second well would be located on the western side of the island, the northern 40% of which has been occupied by the Turkish army since 1974.

Turkey and the Turkish-Cypriot administration in northern Cyprus have objected to the hydrocarbon exploration program under way in the south, which is an EU member and recognized internationally as the island’s legal government. A licensing round that concluded in May is drawing near its close and new licenses for blocks in Cyprus’ EEZ off the southern coast could be awarded within months. (CONTINUED - 388 WORDS)