Eni will stay in Cyprus despite island’s drilling dispute with Turkey

State-owned Italian oil company Eni has said that it will not be giving up its interests in Cyprus, Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi told reporters in the Cypriot capital Nicosia on April 25th.

An standoff has developed between Turkey and Cyprus over the potential extraction of offshore hydrocarbons resources. Eni had to abandon a scheduled drill for oil and gas south of Cyprus in February because of Turkish military exercises.

Eni has obtained the rights to explore for oil and gas from Cyprus’s internationally recognised Greek Cypriot government, but Turkey has said that it would stop what it saw as a unilateral move by Greek Cypriots to claim offshore resources as their own. Cyprus, backed by the EU, is unrepentant.

Turkey has no diplomatic relations with Cyprus. It sees gas-hunting moves by Nicosia as a unilateral action that violates the rights of Turkish Cypriots.

Some of the offshore areas licensed by Cyprus are also claimed for potential research by Northern Cyprus, a breakaway state recognized only by Turkey as a sovereign state. Descalzi, who met the Cypriot president and its energy minister on Wednesday, said Eni would “try and try again until somebody will be tired”.