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FACTDROP: Cyprus Grants Licences for Offshore Gas


Cyprus Grants Licences for Offshore Gas

Πηγή: Natural Gas Europe
Jan 24 2013

Cyprus is issuing exploration licences for offshore gas to a consortium comprised of Italy's ENI and South Korea's KOGAS.

The licences apply to three areas off the east Mediterranean island, its energy department said.

"It is very important because we are moving ahead with development of our reserves," said Cyprus's Commerce, Industry and Tourism Minister, Neoclis Sylikiotis.

Separate talks with France's Total, which is also bidding for a licence elsewhere, were going well, Sylikiotis said.

Reuters newsagency notes that income from gas licences will be a boon for cash-strapped Cyprus, this week told it will have to wait several months more for a €16 billion bailout from the European Union.

The Mediterranean state of 1.1 million people, divided between Turkish and Greek sectors, reported its first natural gas find just over a year ago.

Thursday's signing ceremony with ENI and KOGAS concerns another three blocks, two of which lie diagonally above the area where gas has already been discovered. "There are very strong indications of gas, and possibly oil, in the area," Sylikiotis told Reuters.

US explorer Noble Energy says it has already found between 5 and 8 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas off the southern Cyprus coast. Last year Sylikiotis said Cyprus, the fifth euro area member to request an international bailout, could earn as much as €300 million from bids to explore for natural gas.

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