Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Saipem 12000 : Eni rig sails for Morocco after Turkey blocks Cyprus search

Saipem 12000
An Italian drillship blocked by the Turkish navy from exploring for gas off Cyprus was on Tuesday headed for Morocco, a website monitoring sea traffic showed.

The Saipem 12000 vessel, chartered by Italian giant Eni, anchored off the Cypriot port of Limassol after it was forced on Friday to abandon its mission following a two-week standoff with Turkish warships.

Ankara bitterly opposes attempts by the Greek-majority Republic of Cyprus to exploit resources in the waters off the divided island, insisting it is protecting the rights of the Turkish-Cypriot community.

The Marine Traffic website that measures ship movements around the globe estimated that the vessel should arrive off the coast of Morocco by March 9.

An Eni spokesman reiterated a statement by the firm's boss that the drillship "would head to Morocco and return to Cyprus when conditions allow".

Cypriot Energy Minister George Lakkotrypis on Monday said the postponement of the test drilling was a "setback" but the government would continue with its energy search as planned.

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