The Italian-French ENI-TOTAL drilling consortium has backed down from plans to resume drilling activities in field 7 of the Cyprus EEZ two before months its scheduled operations, following the concerns expressed by ENI’s CEO Claudio Descalzi regarding Turkey’s aggressive stance in the region.
As Descalzi had said, “if someone shows up with warships, I do not drill”. The Turkish provocation around the Cypriot EEZ has resulted in the consortium leaders looking into different sections outside Turkish “interests”.
Sources with knowledge of the situation claim that the decision by the consortium to move to a different energy block is not a retreat but a tactical move.
At the end of September, Ankara had sent a clear message to Cyprus, as well as TOTAL and ENI, that it would not allow exploration or drilling in plot 7.