Local
articles | 22 October 2014

Energy officials visit ENI/KOGAS drillship

Energy Minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis said recently the best answer to the Turkish provocations in the island’s EEZ was “business as usual”.

Answering reporter’s questions at the House, Lakkotrypis said despite the challenges to Cyprus, ENI-KOGAS was continuing its drilling work in Block 9 with the Sapiem 10000, and was on schedule. He said the government was in daily contact with the company.

“We are monitoring the drilling,” he said, adding that officials from his ministry were also at the platform. Lakkotrypis said there was also full coordination between his ministry and the foreign ministry on the issue.

The Turkish seismic research vessel Barbaros began sailing off the island’s south-eastern coast on Monday as Ankara made good on its threat to carry out surveys within Cyprus’ EEZ. On Tuesday the Barbaros and its two accompanying vessels, had moved further into Block 2 in the EEZ, headed west towards Block 1, and was between 25 and 30 nautical miles off Limassol and around the same distance north-west of the Sapiem 10000 by afternoon.

Later in the evening the Barbaros, according to marinetraffic.com, had turned south and was 33 nautical miles south of Limassol and 25nautical miles north-west of the drillship and heading east.
According to one report in a Turkish Cypriot news outlet, the Barbaros was engaged in dredging, surveying and underwater operations. Turkey’s NAVTEX notice says it would be surveying from October 20 to December 30.

As the Barbaros remained off the coast, Israel was conducting its one-day joint exercise, Onisilos-Gideon, with the Republic using F16 and F15 aircraft. The exercise took place within the Nicosia Flight Information Region and in the wider region of Paphos-Troodos with the participation of the NationalGuard, the defence ministry said.

Russia’s naval exercises between the north-east of the island and Syria, which began on Monday, will end on Thursday.

Source: Cyprus Mail

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