Second round of licensing for plots in Cyprus EEZ expected by end of January Print

Nicosia, Jan. 23 2012 (CNA)

The official announcement of the second round of licensing for the remaining plots of the EEZ of Cyprus will be issued by the end of the month, Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Praxoula Antoniadou has said.

According to the Minister, the second round of licensing will be announced soon and called on the companies to officially express their interest. She reminded that the documents for the Call for Interest in a second round of licensing have been sent on to Brussels to be translated and then published in the official journal of the European Union.The official announcement of the second round of licencing will be issued as soon as these documents are translated", she added. ''I expect all translation work to be done soon,'' she said, adding that the announcement will be published ''around the end of the month.''Referring to tomorrow's Business forum in Israel, she said that ''there seems to be great interest in participation from both Cyprus and Israeli businessmen.''She noted that the confirmation of significant quantities of hydrocarbons in Cyprus will encourage investors from other sectors to also invest in Cyprus. She said that a new era of growth and prospect is being opened up, adding that these developments will have positive effect on the Cypriot economy.

Cyprus President Demetris Chistofias announced on December 28, 2011, that exploratory drilling carried out by Huston-based Noble Energy in block 12 of the island's Exclusive Economic Zone revealed a gross mean average of 7 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of natural gas, describing the discovery as ''a historic development.'' Cyprus granted in October 2008 the exploration license for block 12 to US Noble, which began exploratory drilling on September 18.Cyprus has signed an agreement to delineate the Exclusive Economic Zone with Egypt and Israel with a view to exploit any possible natural gas and oil reserves in its EEZ. A similar agreement has been signed with Lebanon but the Lebanese Parliament has not yet ratified it.