Cyprus begins offshore gas drilling process, officials say

NICOSIA - Cyprus has begun the process of exploratory offshore drilling for gas, its energy chief said on Monday, defying Turkey which has demanded it halt the work and threatened to carry out its own drilling off the divided island.
"It started late last night," said Solon Kassinis, director of Cyprus's energy service. "It's preparatory work, yes, but the procedure for drilling has started."The process will be completed in 73 days, he told Reuters.
Texas-based Noble Energy has exploration rights over the block, which lies south of the east Mediterranean island.
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