The second licensing round for the exploration of hydrocarbons is expected to get underway on Friday with the Trade Minister saying that “a very big number of companies” have shown interest to bid for the 12 plots in the Cyprus offshore Exclusive Economic Zone.
Neoclis Sylikiotis said that official bids will be submitted as of noon and that bids are expected to come in from exploration and petroleum companies from the EU, the U.S., Canada and Norway, as well as from China and Russia.
Perhaps the most encouraging outcome has been the interest from about 90 comapnies to buy the tender terms and the seismic surveys, with the documents alone boosting state coffers by some 10 mln euros.
As regards cooperation with Israel, either for undersea gas pipelines or for onshore liquefaction plants, Sylikiotis said he will discuss the matter during an upcoming visit in the next two months.
He added that Cyprus can benefit from the import of natural gas from as early as 2016, probably from the adjacent plots within Israel’s EEZ, also developed by Texas-based Noble Energy that has already made the discovery of an average 7 trln cubic feet in the Cypriot block 12.
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