Exxon Mobil and QatarEnergy have both promised Turkey that they will not enter Turkey’s continental shelf in the Eastern Mediterranean.
The Greek Cypriot administration granted the two corporations energy exploration permits earlier this month, prompting Turkey to express the violation of its continental shelf, stating that it would not allow unlicensed oil drilling in its territory.
QatarEnergy was awarded 40 percent while Exxon Mobil took hold of 60 percent.
The so-called Section 5 of the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) self-declared by the Greek Cypriots, which Ankara argues overlaps with its own continental shelf, was given the oil development license.
“No matter who they are, they cannot enter our continental shelf without our permission,” said Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu to parliament during a ministry budget discussion on Monday.
“Both countries – the United States and Qatar – have guaranteed that they will not enter our continental shelf,” said Cavusoglu. Exxon Mobil and QatarEnergy would remain south of Turkey’s continental shelf, he added.
The development comes as QatarEnergy announced on Monday that it will buy a 17 percent ownership in two Shell-operated blocks in Egypt’s Red Sea, Block 3 and Block 4.
Shell Egypt claims that it will continue to operate the concessions as the primary operator.
The Greek Cypriot administration’s unilateral drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean have consistently been contested by Turkey, while asserting that the Turkish Cypriots also have rights to the resources in the area.