Cyprus: Italian ENI to start exploratory drills

Italian energy giant ENI is planning two exploratory drills for natural gas in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in the next couple of months, officials said on Friday.

According to an announcement made by Energy Minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis and ENI’s CEO Claudio Descalzi, after a meeting with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, the first drill will take place in a field in block six named “Kalypso” in December, followed by a one in “Cuttlefish”, in block three in January.

Following his meeting with Anastasiades, Claudio Descalzi told reporters “we have agreed on the drilling only nine months after licensing and this is record time,” adding that his company has invested €150m believing in the prospect and the geology of Cyprus.

The company has informed the President that they will proceed with two drillings, one after the other, starting with target ‘Calypso’ in block 6 and moving on with target ‘cuttlefish’ in block 3” Lakkotrypis said in his statements, describing the President’s meeting with ENI’s leadership as a “very constructive” one.

Asked whether  they discussed  Turkey’s provocations and its claims that part of block 6 falls within its own continental shelf, the Minister noted that the government decided to award the exploration license to a “powerful” ENI – TOTAL consortium because it was ready to proceed with the drillings, a belief that was expressed at today’s meeting by the company itself, he said.

In a letter to the UN in April, Ankara’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Feridun Sinirlioglu said  Turkey will not allow foreign companies to conduct unauthorised hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation activity on its continental shelf, considering block six part of its continental shelf.

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