Turkey has sent two frigates and a submarine to monitor drilling ship West Capella (IMO 9372523) in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, the Turkish military said on July 13th. The move was thought likely to increase tension between Turkey and Cyprus after reunification talks failed last week. The announcement also coincided with Saturday’s first anniversary of the failed 2016 coup. The drilling work is part of a contract between Cyprus and France-based oil company Total.
The Turkish administration has said that it would be taking measures against Cyprus for engaging in gas and oil exploration around the island, and asserted that the hydrocarbon resources in the waters around the divided island should belong to both sides. The military said it had deployed the frigates and a submarine to the eastern Mediterranean to “guarantee the security of oil transportation”.
West Capella was contracted by France’s Total and Italy Eni, and last week moved into position to start exploring for gas. 2008-built, Panama-flagged 59,626 gt West Capella is owned by Seadrill Deepwater Drillship of Singapore and managed by Seadrill management S Pte Ltd of the same address. ISM manager is Seadrill Management Ltd of London, UK. It is entered with Gard P&I (Bermuda) on behalf of Seafrill Deepwater Drillship Ltd.