Greek Cyprus opens second oil, gas round
NICOSIA - The Associated PressGreek Cyprus has launched a second licensing round for offshore exploratory drilling in hopes the potential fossil fuel deposit discoveries will buoy the eurozone country’s stuttering economy, increasing tension with Turkey.
An announcement on the Greek Cypriot Commerce Ministry’s website Feb. 13 invited license applications for the following 90 days to search for mineral deposits in 12 of the 13 sections that together make up the island’s 51,000-square-km exclusive economic zone off its southern coast. The announcement was first published Feb. 11 in the European Union’s official journal.
An initial licensing round in 2007 generated interest only from the U.S. company Noble Energy, which last year began exploratory drilling in Block 12, the southeastern-most section of the Greek Cypriot economic zone that sits close to a huge Israeli gas field. Greek Cypriot officials are predicting more interest in the second round following Noble’s discovery of an estimated 140 billion to 230 billion cubic meters of natural gas in Block 12, the section not up for licensing in this second round.