Eni chief: No drilling off Cyprus if Turkish warships appear

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NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — The chief executive of Italian energy firm Eni says his company won’t go ahead with any gas drilling in Mediterranean waters off Cyprus if warships approach the area.

Italian news agency ANSA quoted Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi as saying he doesn’t want “to have a war break out to drill wells.”

Descalzi told reporters Thursday that he isn’t concerned about a warship-escorted Turkish drill ship that has sailed into an area were Eni and partner Total of France are licensed by Cyprus to conduct a hydrocarbons search.

Eni and Total are licensed to jointly search 7 of 13 blocks that make up Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone.

Turkey says it’s acting to protect its interests and those of breakaway Turkish Cypriots over the area’s energy reserves.

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