Turkey insists on right to drill for energy reserves off Cyprus

Dispute likely to escalate after Nicosia said it would seek to arrest anyone caught drilling Tensions over energy resources in the eastern Mediterranean have risen sharply after Turkey said it would exercise its sovereign rights to drill off Cyprus in flagrant defiance of warnings from western allies. As the dispute over the race to tap underwater spoils is becoming ever more intense. Israel, Egypt and Lebanon, which have also discovered hydrocarbons off their coasts, have all signed delimitation agreements with Cyprus. In recent years, international oil companies, including ExxonMobil, Total and Eni, have acquired search rights in licensed blocks off the island. Three months ago the US energy company announced it had found one of the biggest deposits of natural …