Wednesday, March 14, 2018

ExxonMobil ship arrives for hydrocarbons survey - CYPRUS MAIL

The ExxonMobil survey ship The Ocean Investigator at
Limassol port on Wednesday morning
March 14, 2018
Evie Andreou

The ExxonMobil survey ship, Ocean Investigator, scheduled to carry out hydrocarbon explorations in block 10 of Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ), arrived on Wednesday morning at the Limassol port.

The Ocean Investigator arrived at the Limassol port at around 8.00 am to refuel and pick up equipment necessary for its environmental impact evaluation in block 10. It sailed from the port of Lavrio in Greece.

A second vessel, the Med Surveyor, is expected to arrive in Limassol on Thursday.

The two vessels will be conducting surveys in order to establish the best drilling targets. ExxonMobil plans to carry out exploratory drilling in the second half of this year, in late summer or autumn.

According to port director, Panayiotis Agathocleous, the Ocean Investigator has docked at a quay located in the management area of DP World Limassol and is expected to load equipment, which will be transported to block 10 for its scheduled operations.

The vessel will remain at the Limassol port until March 24, he said, but it might depart earlier. This, Agathocleous said, will depend on the progress of operations.

He added that a second vessel, expected to arrive on Thursday, will also load equipment and set off for plot 10.

DP World has set up facilities to serve the hydrocarbon sector and the research work to be done, Agathocleous said, and the services will be provided from the port of Limassol.

“The vessels will use the Limassol port to connect the sea space with land. In terms of drilling, this will be considered at a later stage after the exploratory work is over,” he said.

News of the arrival of the two survey ships raised concerns over how Turkey would react, after Turkish warships prevented ENI’s drillship Saipem 12000 reaching its drilling target in block 3 last month.

Even though Turkey does not lay claim to hydrocarbons in block 10, the Turkish Cypriot side has warned that all plans in Cyprus’ EEZ would be stopped.

US Ambassador Kathleen Doherty said on Wednesday the US government does do not expect Turkey to cause any problems for the two vessels in Cyprus’ EEZ.