The US state department has reiterated its support for Cyprus to develop the resources within its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and that they must be shared fairly between the two communities.

“The US policy for the exclusive economic zone of the Republic of Cyprus is long-term and has not changed,” a spokesperson for the state department said, commenting on the recent Eni-Total announcement.

The spokesperson further said that the US is committed to working with partners and allies to ensure European energy security and reducing the region’s dependence on Russian resources – maintaining pressure on the Kremlin.

Cyprus’ right to develop the resources within its EEZ was also reaffirmed and added: “We believe that Cyprus’ oil and gas resources, like all its resources, should be shared fairly between the two communities.”

The comments come just days after Italian multinational oil and gas company Eni announced that it had made a significant gas discovery in the Cronos-1 well, located about 160 kilometers off the coast of Cyprus in block six.

Preliminary estimates indicate about 2.5 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of gas in place, with significant additional upside that will be investigated by a further exploration well in the area.