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Lakkotrypis: ENI commited to Cyprus exploration programme

11/10/2019 16:23

Energy Minister Yiorgos Lakkotrypis has said that ENI representatives in Cyprus assured him during a meeting they had on Friday morning that the company’s commitment in Cyprus is a given.

Lakkotrypis was replying to journalists’ questions on statements by ENI’s CEO Claudio Descalzi on drillings in Cyprus, on the sidelines of a Youth Entrepreneurship event.

AFP quoted Descalzi replying to journalists questions yesterday that:"I am not worried... (but) if someone turns up with warships, I won't drill wells."
He said he had the opportunity to discuss this specific matter with the company’s representatives in Cyprus during a meeting he convened this morning so that they can explain the context in which Descalzi’s statements were made.

Without wishing to speak on his behalf, Lakkotrypis said, “it seems that Descalzi was replying to a question on whether Turkey’s escalated provocations in the Eastern Mediterranean region worry him and if you see his reply, he said that they do not worry him and he continued to say certainly that they do not wish for any incident to occur.”

The Cypriot Minister added that a company representative told him that Descalzi’s reference concerned the safety of the company’s employees.
Lakkotrypis reiterated that ENI’s commitment in Cyprus is a given and he said that this is reflected from the fact that preparations for the company’s exploration programme are going ahead normally, while contracts have been signed for the drill ship which will perform the TOTAL – ENI drillings.

Asked whether Ankara can take advantage of statements such as Descalzi’s  to send warships and prevent Cyprus’ energy programme, he noted that there is no doubt that the less said, the better.

“Right now, we know the planning, the window within which the drillings will start, we know the targets selected, but we simply choose not to say anything,” he said.

He continued pointing out that he has asked the companies to be very careful in the way they reply to specific questions, since the matter is of great interest both in and outside Cyprus.

Asked when the drill ship will start its operations, he said that it is expected to start at the end of this year, beginning of next year and that they expect for the date to be defined with precision.