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Economy

Italy’s ENI Says Will Keep Drilling Off Cyprus in 2021 – Maybe

After previously indicating it would pull out of drilling for energy off Cyprus if Turkish provocations would create a conflict, the Italian energy company ENI said it's going to say as long as it has a license to hunt in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ.)

Work has been suspended by foreign companies with licenses in the EEZ, part of wich Turkey doesn't recognize and where it sent in ships to also drill, but Italy's Foreign Minister told reporters that ENI still stay, although one of its ships earlier had been driven away by Turkish warships.

Commenting on ENI’s presence in the EEZ, he said: “Right now there are no drilling activities underway due to the pandemic, but we hope they will restart as soon as possible,” the Cyprus Mail reported.

Earlier in May, ENI and France's Total, also licensed, said the work would be put off for a year because of the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic's effect, the companies having planned to carry out exploratory drilling at a site dubbed Kronos in block 6 of Cyprus’ EEZ despite Turkish warnings not to proceed.

Apparently emboldened by the European Union's reluctance to impose meaningful sanctions, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the drilling would go on to benefit Turkish-Cypriots who've occupied the northern third since a 1974 invasion.

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