The ‘Ocean Investigator’, one of two ExxonMobil research vessels is headed towards Limassol. The survey vessel is scheduled to carry out exploratory work in bloc 10 of South Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and is expected to arrive within the next 48 hours.
The second vessel ‘Med Surveyor’ was still located off the port of Haifa, Israel on Sunday.
Both vessels will be deploying remotely-operated underwater vehicles to take further readings of the seabed in bloc 10. Reportedly, ExxonMobil will begin drilling exploratory wells in late summer or early autumn.
Although Turkey blockaded access to bloc 3 last month, observers do not believe it will take the same action this time.
It did however, issue a Navtex (notice to mariners) that a Turkish naval vessel would be towing an underwater device offshore the west, south and east of Cyprus this week, just skirting the south’s EEZ, between 22-29 March.
South Cyprus responded with its own Navtex stating that Turkey had not received permission to do so.