Turkey will continue its Cypriot drilling, according to Defence Minister Hulusi Akar, who added that talks with Greece on the issue would continue.
Akar (pictured) said Turkey “poses a threat to no one [and opposed] provocative acts and irresponsible statements” over the issue of gas extraction.
“Our desire and expectation are that the rights and interests of Turkey, which has the longest coastline in the eastern Mediterranean, and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus to be respected. We expect all sides to respect these subjects. This is our most natural right,” the defence minister said.
“Turkey, in every occasion, says that it sides with resolution of the problems in Aegean, eastern Mediterranean and Cyprus within the framework of good neighbourly relations and international law,” he added.
Cynergy Group, a Cypriot investment firm, said it aimed to spend between US$5-10 billion buying natural gas assets in the region, CEO Mike Germanos told Bloomberg. The company was in discussion with “some of the most respected global family offices, private equity firms and sovereign funds” to build the fund, he said.
Cynergy would reveal its bid by the middle of next month, Germanos said.
Egypt, Lebanon, Israel and Cyprus are all looking to develop eastern Mediterranean gas fields, despite Turkey’s opposition.
But Germanos is stressing the importance of multilateral cooperation, saying that consolidating the disparate assets under a single owner would boost efficiency.
The multinational energy firms operating in eastern Mediterranean “don’t work across the whole region”, Germanos said, but seek to maximise investments. Cynergy, however, “is the only one that put the team, the backers and the plan needed to create the vehicle that could launch a series of transaction and see this through”, Germanos said.
Underused assets include: the Idku LNG terminals in Egypt, largely owned by Royal Dutch Shell and Malaysia’s Petronas; the Leviathan reservoir in Israel; and the Aphrodite and Glaucus-1 fields in Cyprus, largely held by Shell and Noble, and Exxon Mobil respectively
The firm might be trying to undervalue the assets.
Leviathan is reportedly valued at US$11 billion, said Israeli analyst Noam Pincu.
“I don’t see any scenario in which Delek and Noble sell the whole thing,” Pincu said. “It’s a great asset that gives them international recognition, they spent years developing it and now they want to see the fruits of that labour.”
Hulusi Akar. Picture credit: Wikimedia