Greek Cyprus plans third offshore licensing round
ATHENS - Reuters
REUTERS photoGreek Cyprus said on Feb. 16 it was planning a third offshore licensing round for hydrocarbons exploration in the eastern Mediterranean, moves which have triggered opposition from Turkey in the past.
Greek Cyprus discovered natural gas offshore in late 2011 in an area close to a sea boundary with Israel, where some of the world’s largest natural gas discoveries have been made in the past decade.
“Cabinet today decided to move ahead with a third licensing round ... it authorized the energy minister to submit the relevant proposals to implement the proposal the soonest possible,” government spokesman Nikos Christodoulides told journalists.
Greek Cyprus’s attempts to tap offshore reserves have previously been a source of friction with Turkey, which supports a breakaway Turkish Cypriot state in northern Cyprus.
Greek Cyprus has 13 offshore licensing blocks, five of which are already licensed to Italy’s ENI, France’s Total and a consortium comprised of Noble Energy, BG International and Israel’s Delek Drilling and Avner.