The government is going ahead with a decision to import natural gas, as an interim solution, until it is able to extract its own gas from Block 12 in its exclusive economic zone.
Government Spokesman Stefanos Stefanou said on Monday that the Cabinet decided to authorise the state-owned Natural Gas Public Company (DEFA), in collaboration with the Electricity Authority of Cyprus (EAC), to prepare the documents for the announcement calling for expression of interest in bringing natural gas to Cyprus the soonest possible.
This, he explained, would be a temporary solution, until the exploitation of Cyprus' hydrocarbon reserves is possible.
The call for expression of interest is being made without specifying the technology for power generation purposes.
Stefanou said the framework for the call of interest and the evaluation process for selecting the natural gas supplier will be determined by the competent ministerial committee, comprising the Ministers of Commerce - who is the Chairman - Finance, Agriculture and the Deputy Minister to the President.
The process to find an interim solution will be conducted in parallel with the one of the competent committees set up to deal with natural gas issues, Stefanos concluded.
The government approved on November 23, last year the launch of a second licensing round for the remaining 12 offshore blocks, a decision published in the EU Official Journal on February 11, this year and expired on May 11, after a three-month bidding period.
Fifteen bids from five companies and 10 from joint ventures were submitted on the 11th of May for the second licensing round concerning the Republic of Cyprus’ offshore hydrocarbon reserves. Bids were submitted for 9 of the 12 offshore blocks, comprising the Cypriot EEZ.
The first licensing round, concluded in 2007, resulted in granting concessions to Houston-based Noble Energy for exploratory drilling in Cyprus’ EEZ block 12. Noble started drilling on September 2011 and the initial data that emerged from the exploratory drilling and the evaluation checks carried out, indicate the existence of an average natural gas reservoir of 7 trillion cubic feet (tcf).
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