The American energy giant ExxonMobil is signaling its intention to ply ahead with oil and gas exploration in the Republic of Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), ignoring Turkey’s threats towards companies that have signed agreements with Nicosia.
Turkish warships have at the moment blockaded the island to prevent a drill sent by Italy’s biggest energy company, ENI, from proceeding with scheduled drills.
ExxonMobil has hastened to arrange for two offshore oil and gas exploration ships to Cyprus at the end of this month. The company’s decision comes straight on the heels of ENI’s debacle.
ExxonMobil’s decision was confirmed in statements by Cyprus’ Energy Minister, Yorgos Lakkotrypis, who said that Cyprus’ partners in its drilling programme have contacted the government to signal their support, and their intention to meet their commitments, despite Turkey’s bellicose posture in recent weeks.
ExxonMobil, whose former CEO is US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, has secured, in partnership with Qatar Petroleum, exploration rights for Block 10 of Cyprus’ offshore oil and gas fields.