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Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides said on Tuesday that Italian exploration giant ENI will not halt its exploration for oil and gas offshore Cyprus, despite provocations by Turkish vessels within the Cyprus exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
However, Kasoulides also expressed his dismay at the international community that has so far failed to call on Turkey to end its violations.
The Turkish seismic survey vessel ‘Barbaros’ entered the Cyprus EEZ after Ankara issued a maritime order (NAVTEX) for the area, prompting President Nicos Anastasiades to suspend his participation in the UN backed negotiations which aim to reunify the island under a federal roof.
The ENI/KOGAS UItalian-Korean consortium has been awarded exploration licenses in offshore blocks 2, 3 and 9, having already completed two seismic surveys, and plans to drill six wells in the next 18 months. French Total is also expected to start exploratory drilling, while US-based Noble Energy and Israeli partners Delek and Avner have already discovered initial deposits and are exploring for more.
Government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides said there cannot be a dialogue while Turkey violates Cyprus’ sovereign rights, adding that Ankara’s actions prove that she is not interested in a solution.
Meanwhile, MEP Neoklis Sylikiotis said that a delegation of the European Parliament Committee which deals with matters of energy security will be paying Cyprus a visit in September 2015.
The goal, he said, was to promote Cyprus’ significance in Europe’s energy security.
At the same time Sylikiotis that a proposal has been adopted for the participation of former State Hydrocarbons Company (KRETYK) President Charles Ellinas in a EP hearing on November 5 on energy matters.