New natural gas drilling begins in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone

A new exploratory drilling for natural gas has begun in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone, the country’s Ministry of Energy, Commerce and Industry said on Monday.

The work is being carried out on behalf of the Italian-French ENI and TOTAL consortium, off the southwest shores of the eastern Mediterranean island.

Work at the site was initially scheduled to start in the spring of 2020 but was delayed as a result of technical problems on the drilling ship, and subsequently the COVID-19 pandemic.

ENI said at the time that it was reviewing its operations and energy projects in the region with a view to reducing its capital expenditures.

The ENI Cyprus and TotalEnergies EP Cyprus B.V. consortium has obtained concessions for drilling in several blocks of the Cypriot exclusive economic zone.

Interest in the eastern Mediterranean gas fields owned by Israel, Egypt and Cyprus has revived due to the crisis in Ukraine, and the resulting need to find other sources to replace the Russian natural gas on which several European countries currently depend. ■

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