11 March 2013 09:26

Nicosia --Confirmation drilling by Houston based Noble Energy, in block 12 of Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), is a top priority, Energy Minister George Lakkotrypis has pointed out.

Asked to comment on the fact that Cyprus’ international lenders refuse to take into account the country’s earnings from natural gas reserves in their estimate of the amount of financial assistance needed for Cyprus, the Minister said “this is the main reason we urgently need to proceed with the confirmation drilling.”

“If there is confirmation of the reserves and these are validated, we can then declare these deposits as marketable at a specific value”, he pointed out.

He said there will be a meeting with Noble next week in order to discuss their next moves, adding that the company`s contract is until October.

The Energy Minister also stressed that creating the necessary administrative structure is also among government priorities. This, he noted, will help the government deal with issues such as contracts, marketable reserves, pipelines etc.

According to the Minister, the Energy Department is going to be one of the pillars of this structure and as such it needs to be fully equipped and have adequate knowledge and expertise.

Cyprus has signed an agreement to delineate the EEZ with Egypt and Israel with a view to exploit any possible natural gas and oil reserves. A similar agreement has been signed with Lebanon but not yet ratified by the Lebanese parliament.

The initial data that emerged from the exploratory drilling conducted by Houston-based “Noble Energy” in EEZ block 12 indicates the existence of a natural gas reservoir ranging from 5 to 8 trillion cubic feet (tcf) with a gross mean of 7 tcf.

On January 24 Cyprus signed contracts with the ENI/KOGAS consortium for hydrocarbons exploration in blocks 2, 3 and 9 in the EEZ of Cyprus, while on February 6 it signed hydrocarbon exploration contacts with French TOTAL for blocks 10 and 11.
(CNA )


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