After disappointing results during a first drilling which failed to find any significant gas reserves, ENI-KOGAS is set to try again and has sent its rig to the Amathousa field in Plot 9, according to a government statement. But Turkey has renewed its threats, after reports that it plans to renew its NAVTEX warning to ships in the area.
Energy Minister George Lakkotryipis said that drilling is imminent in the new location, and given that it is closer to Plot 12 – where Noble Energy already found significant reserves – there are increased chances of success.
The exploratory drilling is expected to last 80-90 days.
ENI-KOGAS came under pressure from Turkey, which sent a seismic research vessel named Barbaros into the island’s Exclusive Economic Zone.
President Nicos Anastasiades suspended reunification talks with Turkish-Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu over the issue. Meanwhile, government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides said that if Turkey issues another maritime challenge to Cyprus’ EEZ, the chances of resuming peace talks were not promising.
According to Turkish-Cypriot newspaper Kipris, Turkey is considering issuing another maritime warning – called a NAVTEX warning – to ships sailing near Cyprus.
In earlier comments, Mr. Christodoulides said there would be no return to talks unless Turkey stopped its illegal actions, which were also condemned by the European Parliament.