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Cyprus, Lebanon ready to talk about offshore LNG drilling

20 October, 2011

Cyprus Foreign Minister Erato Kozakou Markoullis has invited her Lebanese counterpart, Adnan Mansour, to visit Nicosia over the next few days to discuss the thorny issue of the delineation of the offshore Exclusive Economic Zone, now that Texas-based Noble Energy has already started drilling to find natural gas deposits.
The government in Beirut was upset that Cyprus concluded EEZ delineation agreements with Egypt and then with Israel, where, too, Noble has drilling rights, at a time when Israel and Lebanon are still in conflict.
The Cyprus News Agency reported that Markoullis and Mansour will discuss “issues of mutual interest in the sectors of maritime policy and energy,” soon after the Cypriot foreign minister returns from a Commonwealth summit in Australia.
Initial reports suggest that Block 12 may have deposits exceeding 10 trillion cubic feet, almost as much as the Israeli “Leviathan” where Noble Energy has found deposits of nearly 16 tcf, the biggest natural gas find in the region in recent years.