The government approved contracts that granted three energy companies concessions for gas exploration in Cyprus' continental shelf, Minister of Energy, Yiorgos Lakkotrypis has said.
He said contracts will be signed on April 4 and 6, 2017 with Italian ENI and French Total in block 6, ENI in block 8 and ExxonMobil and Qatar Petroleum consortium in block 10 of Cyprus' exclusive economic zone.
He said that on signing the contracts the energy companies will pay a total of €103.5 million ($111.2 million U.S.) to Cyprus.
Lakkotrypis said that ENI plans to drill this year in block 11 in which Total assigned 50% of its rights to the Italian company.
He added that ENI had scheduled two more drillings but he did not specify where and when.
ENI has obtained licenses for drilling in a total of six blocks, one in which it has full control, three in association with South Korean KOGAS and in two blocks in which Total has also got rights.
ENI chief exploration officer Luca Bertelli told journalists earlier this week that the company is optimistic that it will make a gas discovery the size of the Egyptian Zohr find, which contains an estimated 30 trillion cubic feet of gas.
Source: Famagusta Gazette