Turkish “provocations” will not prevent Cyprus following through on upcoming drilling plans, Energy Minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis said this week. The minister says eight wells are planned over the next two years, two appraisal and six exploratory despite heightened tensions with Turkey which is drilling a wildcat just 80km west of the island and well within Cyprus’ EEZ (MEES, 10 May).

Drilling is expected to begin at the end of the year, or the beginning of next, as Italian firm Eni and French major Total commence a five-well campaign (MEES, 1 March). The two firms hold a 50-50 stake in Blocks 11 and 6 and will likely be awarded Block 7 in the coming months, while Total is looking to farm in to Eni’s Block 8. Eni (80%) operates Blocks 2,3 and 9; Korean state firm Kogas has 20%. The Eni/Total wells will include an appraisal well at the February 2018 Calypso discovery. (CONTINUED - 255 WORDS)