articles | 11 March 2013

New minister says drilling a priority for Cyprus

Exploratory drilling in Block 12 is a priority, says new Commerce and Industry Minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis.

Responding to questions about Troika’s refusal to include Cyprus’ potential income from its hydrocarbons, Lakkotrypis said that is the reason Noble Energy must proceed rapidly to explore Block 12. “As soon as it is confirmed and certified that there are deposits of gas they can be declared as marketable andwill have a certain value,” he said.

“Noble’s contract is until October and we will meet them next week to see what their plans are exactly and how to move forward,” he added. Lakkotrypis said the ministry’s priority remains the creation of a proper administrative structure to deal with matters of natural gas.

“Actions, up until now, have been one dimensional as we’ve had negotiations about certain contracts and negotiations with Noble and the other companies,” he said. “We are now entering deeper waters and need to negotiate contracts, we need to prepare for potential marketable deposits,” he added. “We need to look at the infrastructure and by that I mean the creation of a terminal and pipelines abroad and at home,” Lakkotrypis said.

For all of that, the minister said, an administrative structure needs to be put in place to create a strategy that everyone can agree with for years to come.

“We are pressed for time but we are determined to put everything in order as we are dealing with our future for the next few years,” he said. “We cannot depend on one or two people and an organisation but the correct administrative structure,” he added.

Referring to the structure as an ‘ecosystem’, Lakkotrypis explained that it will be based on the Norwegian model which is not an organisation or a service but is made up of various factors. “It consists of a fund, other infrastructures, pipeline regulators and specifics for the terminal,” he said.

The minister will meet the House Commerce Committee to begin mapping out a strategy on Tuesday.

Source: Cyprus Mail

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