Cyprus issues navtex as Exxon’s drillship arrives in Limassol

Stena IceMax, a drilling ship commissioned by Exxon Mobil to explore for hydrocarbons in block 10 of Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone, is expected to arrive today in the port of Limassol, in the southern coast of Cyprus. On Saturday morning, authorities issued a navigational telex (navtex) for the target “Delphini”, valid until February 25.

“The drilling rig is expected to arrive within the timeframe set, according to schedule, tomorrow or the day after” a well-informed source told CNA. According to the same source, “everything proceeds smoothly, according to plan.”

The navtex 376/18 issued by Cyprus on Saturday morning, at 6.00 am local time (4.00 am GMT), informs mariners about the drilling operations of Stena IceMax at the “Delphini” target. Drilling operations were expected to commence on November 15.

The navtex is valid until February 25, 2019. A safety zone of 500 meters is established around Stena IceMax and entering this area is prohibited for any reason.

Violation of the safety zone will be considered as a criminal offence against the laws of the Republic of Cyprus and the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, the navtex concludes.

On Friday, the Cyprus official government gazette published a decree issued by the Minister of Transport, aiming to safeguard both the rig and marine navigation during the drilling period.

Exxon Mobil was awarded, together with Qatar Petroleum the exploration licence in block 10 of Cyprus’ EEZ.


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