Energy giant ENI’s drillship Saipem 12000, which had been anchored off Limassol in international waters since Saturday for refuelling and equipment loading and unloading, finally departed around midnight on Monday for Morocco.
Following a second failed attempt last Friday to reach Cuttlefish target in Cyprus’ offshore plot 3 to drill an exploratory gas well, the vessel docked some 17 nautical miles off Limassol, to prepare for its next destination. The Saipem’s three support vessels – Vos Prime, Vos Prudence and Vos Purpose – had been loading and unloading equipment at the Limassol port and arranged for its refuelling.
According to the Cyprus News Agency, the Saipem departed at around midnight on Monday for its next destination.
The vessel had been intercepted by Turkish navy vessels some three weeks ago while on its way to block 3 and had remained for around two weeks without the situation being resolved. After a second attempt to reach the target last Friday was thwarted again by Turkish navy vessels, it anchored off Limassol.
Despite the postponement of the exploratory drill, Energy Minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis said on Monday that Cyprus’s plans to explore, develop and exploit hydrocarbons in its exclusive economic zone would continue.
“The drilling at Cuttlefish has been postponed, which is not a good development. This however is not cancelling anything else that we have planned and is in progress,” he said.