The third licensing round of the exploration of Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ) was successfully completed, the Cabinet announced after a meeting on Tuesday, the 7th of March, 2017.
Minister of Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism, Yiorgos Lakkotrypis, said in the meeting that “Cyprus has successfully completed negotiations with the selected bidders for the licensing of blocks 6, 8 and 10 in its Exclusive Economic Zone (ΕΕΖ)”.
So far, the energy companies assigned to blocks in the island’s EEZ are: ENI-KOGAS: Blocks 2,3,9 — ENI: Block 8 — ENI-TOTAL: Blocks 6 and 11 — EXXON-MOBIL-Qatar Petroleum: Block 10 and Shell-Noble-Delek: Block 12.
Speaking to the press following the meeting, the Minister said that “the latest developments have created a dynamic for a liquefaction centre, since Qatar Petroleum is one ofthe companies taking part in research in block 10” and that the amount of hydrocarbons to be discovered, is set to judge the final outcomes of the exploration procedure. He also noted that the government should be ready for all eventualities, including a floating terminal, a pipeline with Egypt, and the EastMed pipeline.
Mr. Lakkotrypis pointed out that this is a very important development for Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean in general, because it reinforces the prospect of hydrocarbons in the area, especially if one looks at the research projects that have been proposed and agreed. He said that the companies are quite optimistic as to the prospects of the Eastern Mediterranean, and more specifically the Cyprus EEZ. When he was asked to say when the first results from the drilling process can be expected, his reply was that “we are discussing about various dates, some within 2017, however we need to be cautious as everything depends on the companies themselves and their targets.”
The Cabinet’s approval for TOTAL to assign 50% of its rights to ENI is a very important development, because it strengthens the joint venture in Block 11 of Cyprus’ EEZ, said Mr. Lakkotrypis.
He also informed the public that on March 17th, 2017, confirmation is expected to be given by the Cabinet to approve and sign the contracts with the energy giants.