Exxon Mobil will reportedly be drilling two back-to-back exploratory wells in late summer or early autumn.Asked about Exxon Mobil’s plans, government spokesman Prodromos Prodromou offered a generic response: “Cyprus’ energy plans are a given and there is no need for further commentary.The beefing up of US naval forces in the eastern Mediterranean has been linked to Exxon Mobil’s drilling for gas in Cyprus’ economic waters planned for later this year.
The latest tensions centre on an underwater oil discovery,” Sputnik said.
The Sputnik report was written in poor English and contained factual errors. A columnist for Turkish daily Milliyet even posited that “unless the Cyprus problem is resolved by October, or unless Turkey’s position on Cyprus’ hydrocarbons is accepted, there is a possibility of Turkish warships going head-to-head with US warships.” These reports were played up by media in Cyprus and Greece.
According to the US Department of Defence, the USS Iwo Jima – the flagship of the expeditionary force which has since joined the US 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean – departed its homeport in Florida on February 7 for a scheduled six-month deployment.
The claim includes part of blocks 1, 4, 5, 6 and 7, to the south and southwest of the island.
The breakaway regime meanwhile claims an ‘exclusive economic zone’ of its own, covering large segments of blocks 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 12 and 13.