The European Union on Monday called on Turkey to avoid threats and “refrain from any actions that might damage good neighbourly” ties after South Cyprus accused the Turkish military of preventing the Saipem 12000 drillship contracted to Italian energy giant ENI, reaching bloc 3.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday warned South Cyprus not to “overstep the mark” in the eastern Mediterranean, after Ankara sent warships to obstruct a vessel exploring for natural gas over the weekend. Erdogan told the Turkish parliament that Turkish warships and security units were monitoring developments in the region.
On Monday, CEO of ENI, Claudio Descalzi said the company had not expected Turkey to obstruct Saipem 12000 because “we are inside Cyprus’ EEZ.”
Saipem was on its way to bloc 3 after a successful exploratory drill in Calypso 1 field, in bloc 6.
“Tension was probably caused for other reasons and the ship was blocked,” Descalzi added.
Turkey claims the South’s EEZ partly overlaps its own continental shelf. It also TRNC’s claims on blocks 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 12 and 13, which lies within a few kilometres of the Aphrodite gas field.