26 January 2013 17:04

 Nicosia – The implementation of government plans to turn Cyprus into an international energy centre has reached a point of no return and no one can stop it, Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou has said.

In statements he made to the press at the Presidential Palace, Stephanou said that the contracts signed on Thursday with ENI and KOGAS in the context of the 2nd licensing round for the exploration of hydrocarbons within Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) “constitutes one more decisive step in the direction of the extraction and exploitation of natural gas”.

In less than five years, he noted, the government has furthered the matter of the Republic’s EEZ delimitation, it signed a contract with Noble, it started exploratory drilling early, it proceeded with the 2nd licensing round and it has signed contracts for the extraction and exploitation (of natural gas) which will bring wealth and growth to Cyprus and its people.

Stephanou added that as a Royal Bank of Scotland report has said, Cyprus may become one of the better off eurozone countries thanks to its huge natural gas reserves, the value of which could exceed 580% of its GDP.

All the above, he recalled, were achieved despite Turkey’s threats and provocations, which were not able to prevent the implementation of the government’s plans.

“Thanks to the multifaceted foreign policy of the government, Cyprus has won over the entire international community”, he said, adding that “diplomatically speaking Turkey has lost and has become politically isolated”.

Contracts were signed on January 24 between the Republic of Cyprus and the ENI/KOGAS consortium for hydrocarbons exploration in blocks 2,3 and 9 in the EEZ of Cyprus in the context of the 2nd licensing round.

The first licensing round, which concluded in 2007, resulted in granting concessions to Houston-based “Noble Energy” for exploratory drilling in Cyprus’ EEZ block 12. Noble started drilling in September 2011 and the initial data that emerged from the exploratory drilling and the evaluation checks carried out, indicate the existence of a natural gas reservoir ranging from 5 to 8 trillion cubic feet (tcf) with a gross mean of 7 tcf.
(CNA)


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