Eni will not halt Cyprus projects despite Turkish reaction

Suspension of joint projects, CEO sorry but will move forward

27 March, 19:59

Eni Ceo Paolo Scaroni Eni Ceo Paolo Scaroni

(ANSAmed) - ROME - Eni has no intention of stopping its operations in Cyprus, said the group's CEO Paolo Scaroni on Wednesday. He said that he was sorry about the Turkish government's reaction, after Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz announced the suspension of projects in collaboration with Eni due to the group's offshore exploration in Cypriot waters. However, Scaroni said he was confident an agreement would be reached in the interests of both parties involved.

The CEO noted that the Eni project for the Samsung Ceyhan pipeline to transport oil from the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea with Turkey was for all practical purposes "dormant" anyway. "The project," Scaroni said on the sidelines of an Eni-Enel press conference, "will go forward only if Bosporus crossings become costlier and contingent on other factors." As concerns South Stream, which would cross Turkish waters, Scaroni noted that Gazprom - and not Eni - is the main operator.

He expressed the hope that relations with Turkey would return to their "previous excellent level - including with Minister Yildiuz, who I have met with at least twenty times". On the issue of Cyprus, Scaroni said that Enì's future does not depend on the island. "It is just one of the many activities we are involved in. I hope it produces results".

Eni announced in January it had signed an agreement with the government of Nicosia for the exploration and exploitation of three gas reserves off the island’s coast together with Korean group Kogas.  Since 1974 urkey has occupied with its troops the northern part of Cyprus, the self-proclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which is only recognized by Ankara. The Turkish government objects to Nicosia’s right to manage on its own the energy resources off the island and has threatened to suspend its cooperation with international oil groups signing agreements with the Cypriot cabinet.

   US company Noble Energy, which is in charge of exploring one of the fields’ areas, indicated two years ago it had estimated reserves of some 230 billion cubic metres worth 100 billion euros. Turkey in the past few days has warned Cyprus not to use gas reserves as a guarantee to overcome its current financial crisis.

     Eni sells natural gas from Russia to Turkey, transported through the Blue Stream gas pipeline. It also sells lubricant oil and additives. Through Snamprogetti it also provided engineering expertise for the expansion of units of the petrochemicals complex of Yarimca. It also worked on the construction of the hydrocracking plant of the Aliaga refinery (Izmir) and the unicracking plant of the Izmit refinery.

     Snamprogetti also took part in the construction of the gas pipeline which carries Russian gas to Bulgaria and Turkey through the Sea of Marmara. Saipem then realized the underwater gas pipeline Blue Stream which connects Russia to Turkey through the Black Sea. It also contributed to the construction of the Turkish part of the oil pipeline Kirkuk (Iraq)-Ceyhan (Turkey). Finally, it operates in Turkey under the Versalis Eni label to market basic chemical products – olefins and aromatic – plastic materials – polystyrene and polyethylene – elastomer – SBR and special rubber – and cleaning products.(ANSAmed).

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