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ENI Boss Says Blockaded Cyprus Drill Ship Will Leave

File photo of ENI-chartered Saipem drill ship

The Cyprus energy standoff continued on Thursday with a senior Turkish minister insisting Ankara would not allow “one-sided” exploration around the island and ENI’s boss saying they would withdraw their blockaded drill ship from the area.
Speaking at the Turkish Energy and Mining Forum in Istanbul, Berat Albayrak — Turkey’s energy minister and son-in-law of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan — said unilateral exploration was unacceptable without approval from the Turkish Cypriot state.
Meanwhile, the CEO of Italian energy giant ENI said his firm would likely withdraw its Saipem drill ship from Block 3 of Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), but would not drop the gas-exploration project.
Reuters quoted Claudio Descalzi saying the ship — currently blockaded by the Turkish navy which says it is on military exercises — will go to Morocco, but insisting ENI would not pull out from its Cyprus project.

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