After a nail-biting two weeks, in which so many things have been happening at the same time in the offshore oil-drilling environment in Europe and in which ENI was playing a leading role, the unbelievable happened: PALP, on Friday, 23 February, extended GALP-ENI’s TUPEM licence to drill of the coast of Aljezur by a further three months?
A notice that Turkish ships threatened to sink ENI's drill ship SAIPEM 12000, was in our opinion a missed opportunity to do some good for Portugal. Had it happened it would have really put a halt to ENI's attempt to drill our beautiful coast. At least for a while ... as it stands, the threat that the Saipem 12000 will be in Portuguese waters shortly is very real.
Turkey's confrontation with an Italian drilling ship in the eastern Mediterranean Sea could quickly reach crisis proportions. As I noted in an Al-Monitor story Dec. 26, developments were warning of growing tension between Turkey and the Greek Cypriots over newly discovered hydrocarbon reserves south of the island.