Cyprus to continue implementing its hydrocarbon exploration, says Energy Minister

Cyprus will continue implementing its hydrocarbon exploration plans despite Turkish threats, Energy Minister Yiorgos Lakkotrypis has said.

His comments came as five Turkish warships threatened to engage ENI’s drillship SAIPEM12000 as it tried to reach block 3 for a scheduled exploratory drilling. SAIPEM has been stationary for more than 12 days as Turkish ships have been blocking its course to block 3.

We gave room to diplomacy to work but since the efforts have not yielded results we made another effort to approach the target but the drillship was forced to withdraw under the threat for the use of force, Lakkotrypis said in statements to CNA.

However, he made clear that despite this negative development concerning the exploratory drilling in the target Cuttlefish, we continue implementing our energy plans.

Lakkotrypis said, SAIPEM12000 will remain in Limassol for a period of two to four days to unload some material and will depart for Morocco where it has contractual obligations.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.

Source: Cyprus News Agency