Italy’s Eni (NYSE: E) will probably have to move a drilling ship blocked by Turkey off Cyprus, but will not relinquish its interests in the area, the oil major’s CEO said on Feb. 22.
“We’re used to having potential disputes ... we did not pull out of Libya or other countries where there were complicated situations,” Claudio Descalzi said on the sidelines of an event.
On Feb. 9, the Turkish navy on maneuvers in the Mediterranean stopped the Saipem 12000 vessel on its way to drill for gas in the waters off Cyprus, triggering a diplomatic standoff.
Turkey, which does not have diplomatic relations with Cyprus, claims that certain areas in the ethnically-split island’s offshore maritime zone fall under its jurisdiction.
Two weeks ago, Eni announced a big gas find in Cyprus’s Exclusive Economic Zone in an area it said was geologically similar to its giant Zohr Field in Egypt.
Descalzi said Feb. 16 he was surprised by the Turkish move since Eni had two other wells in the area that had never caused problems.
Sources familiar with the matter said the Italian foreign office was working through diplomatic channels to resolve the standoff.
It is very likely the drilling ship will have to be moved to a new location in coming days, probably Morocco, Descalzi said.
“Then we’ll come back, waiting for international, European, Turkish, Greek and Cypriot diplomacy to find a solution,” he said.
This week Turkey issued a new navigational advisory extending military training in the area to March 10 from Feb. 22 previously.
On Feb. 21, Cyprus said it would press ahead with oil and gas exploration in its waters, signaling resolve in its standoff with Turkey over energy riches.
An underlying theme of this year’s conference, whether by design or accident, certainly became about climate change and practical solutions to a polarizing problem.
Dan Haley, president and CEO of the Colorado Oil & Gas Association (COGA), and Tracee Bentley, executive director of the Colorado Petroleum Council (CPC) released a joint statement on March 3 concerning the introduction of the Colorado Senate Bill 19-181.
Republicans denounce the plan as ‘raw deal.’