US navy presence in Cyprus EEZ prior to coincide with Exxon exploration

Map showing Cyprus exploration blocks - via Cyprus Mail map showing

eKathimerini — The increased US naval presence in the Eastern Mediterranean until the end of the month is seen as an indication of the concern triggered by Turkey’s recent hostility in the region, which last month led to the suspension of Italian energy company ENI’s drilling operations in Block 3 of Cyprus’s EEZ.

The incident with the Italian drillship was condemned by the governments of Cyprus, Italy and the US and the European Commission.

Even though the bolstered American presence is mainly due to a planned exercise by the US and Israel, it coincides with scheduled hydrocarbon drilling in Block 10 of Cyprus’s EEZ by American energy giant ExxonMobil due to start on Sunday and last until April 20.

The USS Iwo Jima, USS New York and USS Oak Hill are participating in the exercise that will last until March 18 in a region stretching from northern Israel to southern Cyprus.