Turkey raises energy stakes as drillship sails through Aegean


eKathimerini — Deep Sea Metro 2 drillship, leased by the Turkish government escorted by  corvette Bafra  passed through the Aegean international waters  on Thursday travelling  southeast of the Peloponnese  heading for heading north towards the Bosporus.

Thursday’s route taken by the Deep Sea Metro 2  and the Bafra was known to Greece in advance, and for this reason both the Hellenic Armed Forces General Staff (GEETHA) and the navy monitored from a distance.

Several reports said on Thursday that the drillship will be renamed in a special ceremony in Turkey, which would confirm recent Turkish media reports claiming that the drillship was purchased and not chartered.

Turkey’s plans to explore for gas in the Eastern Mediterranean and its non-recognition of a part of Cyprus’s exclusive economic zone has raised concerns in Nicosia, wary of intrusions into its EEZ.

Moreover, Nicosia is waiting to see whether Turkey will explore for gas south of the island or off the coast of its occupied part.

Ankara is not expected to make any moves in the coming days, when the Italian-French consortium of energy giants ENI and Total is scheduled to start drilling in Cyprus’s Block 6 EEZ, as the Deep Sea Metro 2 will be in the Bosporus.

Ankara’s mobilization in the region also comes as research is being conducted into whether the construction of the EastMed undersea gas pipeline from the Eastern Mediterranean to Europe is feasible.