First indications on possible hydrocarbon reserves in Block 12 of Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) are expected some time around Christmas, Commerce, Industry and Tourism Minister Praxoula Antoniadou told the Cyprus Energy Forum.
The Minister reiterated President Demetris Christofias remarks that Turkish Cypriots as citizens of the Republic of Cyprus can enjoy in the framework of a united island the benefits Cyprus natural wealth. The President also pointed out that the exploitation of any possible natural gas reserves in Cyprus EEZ can potentially motivate the attainment of a solution to the Cyprus problem, stressing that Turkey, which occupies Cyprus northern third since 1974, has now a golden opportunity to prove itself to be a true peacemaker in the area of the Eastern Mediterranean.
Cyprus, she said, will be in a position to contribute to the energy security of Europe through the provision of additional sources of energy and through Cyprus possible participation in a new energy infrastructure, linking Europe to sources of energy, something that will enhance Europes energy security.
As regards the 2nd round of licensing for explorations in Cyprus EEZ, Antoniadou noted that the Republic of Cyprus is proceeding after a formal decision by the Council of Ministers with the preparation of documents that will be published to invite interest by companies to participate in the 2nd round.
We hope to have the relevant documents ready before the end of this month so we can proceed with the formal announcements, she noted, adding that currently the effort is to see how we can improve the model production-sharing contract that had been used in the 1st round of licensing.
Antoniadou said that many companies have bought the data that have been produced of the geophysical and seismic studies and that this is an indication of interest on behalf of foreign companies. There is also a lot of interest by foreign investors in areas of services and products that find themselves around the main process of exploiting or transferring hydrocarbons, she added.
Cyprus granted in October 2008 the exploration license for block 12 to Noble Energy, which began exploratory drilling on September 18. On November 15, Noble announced that Cyprus Block 12 natural gas gross resources are estimated at 3-10 Trillion cubic feet (tcf) with a 60% probability of geologic success
Antoniadou said that with the findings of hydrocarbon results recently in Israel and before that in Egypt and with the prospects of identifying such results also in the Exclusive Economic Zone of Cyprus, countries in the area are faced with the challenge of managing these new variables with ultimate responsibility so as to improve and not to destroy the prospects for current and future generations. (AMNA)