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Italian firm Eni on 1 January spudded the first of two exploration wells it plans to drill offshore Cyprus this year.
It kicked off drilling the Calypso gas prospect on Block 6 using the Saipem 12000 drillship despite threats from Turkey which claims that part of Eni’s acreage lies within its exclusive economic zone.
Though the acreage, around 150km from the southwest tip of Cyprus, is much further from the Turkish mainland, part of Block 6 (though not the drilling location – see map) lies within Turkey’s expansive EEZ claims which are based on what it considers as Turkey’s continental shelf.
This claim is in theory distinct to Ankara’s objection to all of Nicosia’s exploration efforts on the basis that such exploration should only be carried out with the consent of the Turkish Cypriot minority, most of whom live in the northern third of the island which has been occupied by Turkey since 1974.
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