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ENI preparing to drill in ‘murky’ plot 6

 

There is a change of guard when it comes drilling within Cyprus’s EEZ.

The Italian giant ENI’s drill ship Saipem 12000 is scheduled to start a series of exploratory drills at the beginning of 2018 replacing Total’s West Capella, which has already left Cyprus after a disappointing gas find in Onisiphoros well in plot 11.

According to daily “Phileleftheros”, Saipem 12000 has already departed from Angola where it was operating and is heading to Tenerife for essential maintenance before arriving in Cyprus waters at the end of the year or the beginning of the next.

ENI’s drill ship is state-of-the-art, able to drill in deep waters for oil or gas and reaching depths up to 10,668 metres. It can accommodate up to 200 personnel for the duration of exploratory drillings in difficult circumstances.

ENI is contracted to make two exploratory drills in plots 2, 3 and 9 in Cyprus’ EEZ under the provisions of the 2ndlicencing round of the Republic of Cyprus.

Under the 3rd round the oil and gas major is expected to explore possible wells both in plot 6, part of which is claimed by Turkey, and in plot 8. Drilling in the last two plots will be done in a joint effort with France’s Total.

At the moment, the Italian company has not indicated which plot it will tackle first.

The main concern though is plot 6 as Turkey is expected to react if Saipem 12000 starts operating west of Paphos.

The area covers part of plot 6 that Turkey claims is within its own continental self.

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