Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi with Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades. Image courtesy of Eni/Flickr.

Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi said Tuesday that his company is ready to begin drilling in offshore Cyprus next year.

According to ABC News, Descalzi said after talks with Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades that Eni will begin drilling in 2017 “for sure.”

Descalzi did not disclosed further details about Eni’s drilling plans.

In a statement, Eni said that Descalzi confirmed that his company remains “highly committed” to hydrocarbons exploration Cyprus  and to the Eastern Mediterranean.

“The company will be working proactively with the Government of Cyprus in order to maximize the exploitation of the country’s hydrocarbon resources,” Eni said.

Eni was awarded three deep offshore blocks in Cyprus in January 2013.

A consortium led by Eni signed exploration and production sharing contracts for Blocks 2, 3 and 9 in the deep offshore portion of the Levantine Basin.

Eni holds an 80 percent operating stake in the consortium and Korea-based Kogas holds a 20 percent stake.

According to Natural Gas Europe, the three licenses are currently set to expire in 2018.

The fields are near Eni’s Zohr field in offshore Egypt that holds the largest gas discovery ever made in Egypt and the Mediterranean Sea.

Eni successfully performed the production test of Zohr 2X, the first appraisal well of Zohr discovery, in March.


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