ExxonMobil to Drill Off Cyprus by End of 2018



ExxonMobil Senior Vice President Neil Chapman meets Nicos Anastasiades

Energy giant ExxonMobil plans to carry out an exploratory drill at a prospect off Cyprus sometime in the fourth quarter, a senior official said on Friday, after a meeting with President Nicos Anastasiades.

“We discussed our plans for the drilling and the exploration wells, and I informed the President that our plan is to drill sometime in the fourth quarter, we don’t have an exact date right now,” ExxonMobil Senior Vice President Neil Chapman said.

ExxonMobil together with Qatar Petroleum, own an offshore concession inside the island’s exclusive economic zone known as block 10.

Asked if ExxonMobil will be bidding for block 7, he said that “we look at all prospects around the world and we judge them on their merits. It doesn’t matter whether it’ s block 7 or any other, we will look at them,” adding, however, that ExxonMobil has not examined any detail with regard to block 7.

He also noted that “our focus now is exclusively on block 10 exploration with our partner Qatar Petroleum.”

Invited to comment on Turkey’s provocations in the Republic of Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone, Mr Chapman said that “we are a commercial entity and our business is about producing and developing natural resources on behalf of governments. Any government issues, that’s for governments to discuss and resolve.”

Earlier on Thursday, Turkey threatened Cyprus after Nicosia invited international energy companies to bid on a license to explore Block 7 in the island’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

“We are concerned that the Greek Cypriot administration has decided to invite international companies to the unilaterally delimited so-called license area by ignoring Turkish Cypriots’ rights,” a statement by Turkey’s Foreign Ministry says.