The government of the Republic of Cyprus believes Turkey has obtained privileged drilling information regarding an area off the southern coast of the island.
Cypriot Government Spokesperson Kyriacos Koushos, who spoke to Greece’s Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation ERT on Tuesday, charged Ankara with having “somehow” obtained information regarding Block 8, which lies north of Egypt’s Zohr and Israel’s Leviathan gas fields.
Previous studies were conducted by energy firms ENI and TOTAL, after the Italian and French companies obtained exploratory licences from the Republic of Cyprus.
“It appears that they got the information collected in the studies,” Koushos said, while clarifying he did not believe the data were shared by the licenced companies.
“I want to make it absolutely clear that there is no insinuation whatsoever that the companies were in any way involved,” Koushos added.
The block in question, listed as number 8 on EEZ maps drawn by the Republic of Cyprus, has also become the target of Turkish exploratory drilling activities.
Ankara says it is acting on behalf of Turkish Cypriots, saying they granted licences to Turkish companies back in 2011 to carry out drilling in the area in question, south of the divided island.
Greek Cypriots, who insist Turkey is acting illegally in violation of intentional law, have also gained support from the European Union which condemned Turkish drilling around Cyprus.