Cyprus is taking all necessary diplomatic steps, President says

Cyprus is taking all necessary diplomatic steps in a calm manner in order to avoid an escalation, Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades has said.

He was referring to Turkey’s provocative actions in Cyprus’ EEZ during the last few days when Turkish navy vessels stopped ENI’s Saipem 12000 vessel which was on its way to a location within Block 3 of Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone, because there would be military activities in the destination.

The Cyprus President, who was addressing a church service in honour of Saint Maroun in Nicosia, said that it is with sorrow that we are observing Turkey’s actions in the last hours.

He added that the Cypriot government is keeping its calm in order to avoid any crisis and is taking those diplomatic steps necessary so that finally the Republic of Cyprus’ sovereign rights can be respected.

Provocations on the part of Turkey, he noted, are not only in the least helpful to reinstating trust but they also do nothing to contribute to the efforts in reaching a peaceful solution of the Cyprus problem.

Meanwhile, replying to a journalist’s question on the matter after the service, President Anastasiades reiterated that we are taking all necessary actions towards all directions, adding that he does not wish to go into further detail.

The way things are handled at this time is necessary on our part to avoid any escalation of the situation without ignoring the fact that Turkey’s actions are in breach of international law, he said.

In the context of the continued contacts that the government has with Italian ENI, sources say that Energy Minister Yiorgos Lakkotrypis will later have a meeting with representatives of the company who are based in Nicosia, while an official from the company’s Italian headquarters is expected to visit Cyprus tomorrow.

Meanwhile, an ENI spokesman told CNA that a vessel, conducting drilling operations on behalf of Eni in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone, will remain in position until a situation, created by Turkish military activity in the area of the Eastern Mediterranean, is resolved.

The spokesman also said that the vessel Saipem 12000 has planned drilling operations on behalf of ENI in block 3 in the Republic of Cyprus’ EEZ.

Eni can confirm that on Friday afternoon the Saipem 12000 vessel had to stop the transfer journey to a new location as it was stopped by Turkish military ships with the notice not to continue because there would be military activities in the destination area, a spokesman from ENI told CNA last night.

The vessel, the spokesman explained, has prudently executed the orders and will remain in position pending an evolution of the situation.

Saipem 12000 has planned drilling operations on behalf of ENI in Block 3 in the waters of the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Republic of Cyprus, he added.

Since this issue, the government of Cyprus has been in constant communication with the government of Italy and ENI , reliable sources have told CNA.

Last Thursday, ENI announced that it has made a lean gas discovery in Block 6 Offshore Cyprus with Calypso 1 NFW. The well, which was drilled in 2,074 meters of water depth reaching a final total depth of 3,827 meters, encountered an extended gas column in rocks of Miocene and Cretaceous age. The Cretaceous sequence has excellent reservoir characteristics.

An intensive and detailed data collection (fluids and rock samples) has been executed on the well. Calypso 1 is a promising gas discovery and confirms the extension of the Zohr like play in the Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

Additional studies will be carried out to assess the range of the gas volumes in place and define further exploration and appraisal operations.

ENI is the Operator of Block 6 with 50% of participation interest while Total is partner with the remaining 50%.

ENI has been present in Cyprus since 2013 and detains interests in six licenses located in the EEZ of Cyprus (in Blocks 2, 3, 6, 8, 9 and 11), five of which are operated.

Source: Cyprus News Agency