’s is diverting a drillship that had been preparing to explore for in Block 3 offshore after a standoff with Turkish vessels in the area, a company spokesman said Friday.

The Saipem 12000 was expected to drill the Cuttlefish-1 well in Block 3, but has now opted to put the exploration on hold while a diplomatic solution over the dispute is sought.

The confrontation comes after and its partner Total made a major find offshore with the Calypso well, which reignited tensions with that believes its citizens in northern have an equal right to the island’s offshore resources.

’s minster Berak Albayrak on Thursday was cited in the Turkish media as saying Ankara would not allow “unilateral” exploration of ’ offshore.

’ internationally recognized government, however, has pledged to continue exploration efforts in its waters.

Its president Nicos Anastasiades dismissed ’s position in a strongly worded statement this week.

“Statements and rhetoric by and the are unjustified and unfounded, and do not serve the best interests of the Cypriot people,” Anastasiades said.

“In this context, the planning of in the field of will proceed accordingly. Our goal is to fully explore ’s potential, in the best terms possible, so as to maximize the benefits for all the people of ,” he said.

He called on and the Turkish Cypriot community to “immediately respond” to his call to return to the negotiating table, “provided that this is preceded by the termination of the violation of the sovereign rights of in its .”

is likely to have at least 10 Tcf of in its waters, with the Aphrodite field holding an estimated 4.5 Tcf and the Calypso discovery said to be a 6-8 Tcf find.

Source: https://www.platts.com/latest-news/natural-gas/london/italys-eni-to-divert-drillship-away-from-cyprus-26897396