Astute-class British submarine enters the Mediterranean – Nicosia, Houston and London monitor the “Delphini” drilling

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Astute-class British submarine enters the Mediterranean – Nicosia, Houston and London monitor the "Delphini" drilling

This analysis is made by Evangelos Kokkinos – Pentapostagma Enimerosis and translated exclusively for SouthFront

Drillings have begun on the Delphini target of block 10 in Cyprus by the ExxonMobil / Qatar Petroleum joint venture.

ExxonMobil’s Stena Icemax drill has already reached the depth of 2 kilometers. The drilling is estimated to last about two months and, will be carried out on a coral reef following the model of the Egyptian Zohr.

Considering the huge interests at stake in the region, it is worth noting that apart from the US Arleigh Burkes deployed strategically in the Mediterranean, a British nuclear-powered submarine has also entered the region – according to reports.

In particular, a United Kingdom Astute-class submarine (UGM-109E Tomahawk TLM) has been ‘hovering’ around the region of interest since September while, reportedly, still remains in the eastern Mediterranean area.

Although the nuclear-powered British submarine formally assigned mission involves the monitoring of a Russian underwater Kilo-class operating in the region, it is equally likely that its position near the operationally active area of ​​Cyprus waters is not at all accidental.

The latest developments in Cyprus are extremely serious and, following the continuous threats by Turkey – including the recent threats of the Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar on “Turkish maritime ownership” within the Cypriot EEZ – the situation could potentially become volatile if such threats were supported by actions and could destabilize the region.

As for the drilling operations, they will be monitored in real-time by the Nicosia ExxonMobil operational-headquarters, together with the Cyprus Ministry of Energy, an ExxonMobil special team that came specifically for drilling in Cyprus, and the drilling management group in the Cypriot EEZ, set up there for months. A similar practice was also followed during the first drilling in “Aphrodite” and up to the “Delphini”.

In Texas, they also track the development of drilling at ExxonMobil, as well as key technical associates that provide significant support, such as the American Halliburton. In London, Stena’s experts will also be watching the drill progress in tandem.

According to reported information, the ExxonMobil – Qatar Petroleum joint venture has deliberately chartered the Stena Icemax drilling rig at a cost approaching $200,000 a day, despite the fact that they could commission an alternative drill at lower cost. The particular choice was favored by the contractors for a number of reasons. Specifically, in addition to numerous of other advantages, a special technological feature allows it to proceed even when obstructed by an ore, eliminating the possibility that the drill gets damaged or, progress get interrupted.

At the point of drilling, on the southwest outskirts of the underwater mountain “Eratosthenes”, the water depth is slightly greater than 2,000 meters, whereas the drill is expected to reach a depth of nearly 3,000 meters below sea-floor making the total depth of drilling being about 5,000 meters.

A few days ago, drills were shipped with three consecutive helicopter flights from the Larnaca Airport (all flights are made in daylight for safety reasons) while, the support operations will continue to take place throughout by the supporting ships carrying the equipment required for this drilling stage and other essentials.

At the same time, the large base of sludge production and treatment, as well as other materials required for drilling in the port of Limassol, are already in full operation. It is one of the most modern units of its kind, built and managed by Halliburton.

According to all present-day information, there are no actions or, strong presence of Turkey navy in the wider region around the vicinity of the drilling, as was the case in most of the previous drilling operations within the Cyprus EEZ.

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  • Kell McBanned

    The Empire keeping an eye on her treasures in light of pesky ottomans looking over the fence.

  • R Trojson

    Must be one huge oil deposit to generate so much interest. So the Greeks will be enriched with the oil and pump the money into US/EU weapons to fight the Turks. Those Turks are so popular, everyone wants a piece.

    Looks like Constantinople will join the EU after all as part of Greece.

    • Brother Ma

      Now this i can agree with.

      • Jens Holm

        People even agree in that. No wonder that part of the world is more chaotic then ours.

    • Jens Holm

      Very funny version. The estimted seized already are well descriebed, so why dont You read about it.

      Cyprus is not Greece at all as well as the drillers are private companies, where we all can be owners. They send You information, if You do, and certainly will learn You, what its all about.

    • Nosferatu

      If Constantinopol will leave Turkey, it will go to Russia. Russia had already prepared operation to capture it in 1917, but Lenin/Trocky ended this plan.

  • Drogba

    Hope it doesn’t spring a leak.

  • Halliburton was getting desperate for resources since the major drop in prices. There is a need for refinancing and capitalizing on any available well.

  • © Proud 2b Greek ✓ᵂʰᶦᵗᵉ

    The end of Turkey will the same as Khasoki’s

  • John Whitehot

    is it the same unit that was forced to abort its missile launches against Syria last year by the Ru navy? iirc it was an “Astute” SSN.

    “monitoring a SS Kilo”

    A nuclear submarine to monitor a diesel electric one – it becomes the monitored one as soon as contact is established.

  • You can call me Al