Eni-Total never intended to drill in Block 7 first, says Cypriot minister


Cypriot Energy Minister Georgios Lakkotrypis on Tuesday sought to dismiss speculation over a decision by energy companies Total and Eni not to their begin drilling activities in the country's Block 7, saying the consortium never intended to start from there anyway.

The two companies have been licensed to explore for natural gas deposits in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and currently hold licenses for seven of Cyprus' 13 blocks.

The decision has reportedly raised questions as to whether the consortium’s plans are the result of Turkey’s opposition to drilling activities in Block 7, whose sovereignty it disputes.

Speaking to the 15th Economist conference in Cyprus, Lakkotrypis said the decisions are based on geological data and the consortium chose the blocks that are more likely to yield results at this time.