Total plans to drill its initial well offshore Cyprus by April. But, with this now only five months away it has still not been able to secure the use of a port as a logistics base. Previous drilling offshore Cyprus, by US firm Noble with its 2011 Aphrodite discovery, and by Eni on Block 9 in 2015, used Larnaca as a base, “with no problem,” Eni says.

But, though Cypriots are not shy of touting their country’s supposed future gas riches, the key industry for the moment is tourism. And the Larnaca authorities have decided that the use of the port as a base for servicing offshore drilling does not fit with the town’s plans to develop a marina with the aim of boosting higher-end tourism. (CONTINUED - 194 WORDS)