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CYPRUS: Gas contracts yield 150 million euros state revenue

25 January, 2013

Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Neoclis Sylikiotis has described the signing, today, of the contracts with the ENI/KOGAS consortium for hydrocarbons exploration in blocks 2,3 and 9 in the EEZ of Cyprus as a truly historic moment for the country.

Speaking during the signing ceremony, at the Ministry of Commerce, Sylikiotis noted that state revenue from signature bonuses of the three contracts stands at 150 million euros.

“Today we take another decisive step in the direction of realising the hopes of our people, towards a new path to prosperity, progress and peace for Cyprus and our region,” he said.

Today’s ceremony, he added, “is the culmination of a series of critical decisions made by the government of Demetris Christofias to safeguard the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus and implement the strategy on the correct, prudent and sustainable exploitation of the country’s hydrocarbon reserves”.

A strategy, he continued, “which can secure, as of today and for the long term, political, economic and social benefits for the island and its people”.

Sylikiotis said that “throughout the duration of the 2nd Licensing Round, which has not yet concluded, we have always aimed to ensure and to safeguard the status and credibility of the Republic of Cyprus. For this reason and throughout all the stages we have gone through up to this day, the processes followed have been completely transparent, impartial and fair to all concerned”.

The discovery of hydrocarbons in the EEZ of Cyprus, in conjunction with those found in the wider Eastern Mediterranean region, creates new realities and prospects of transforming Cyprus into a regional energy hub. For the implementation of this strategic goal, the government has worked consistently and with prudence, laying a solid foundation.

Sylikiotis thanked the consortium’s representatives “for the constructive negotiations that we had and for the spirit of consensus and cooperation they have shown throughout this period, in order to get to this result that ensures, in a fair way, the interests of both parties”.

The Minister expressed optimism that the consortium will soon start the hydrocarbon exploration in blocks 2,3 and 9 in the EEZ of Cyprus, noting at the same time that the exploration process is a multidimensional and complex one.

Consortium’s representatives expressed their satisfaction over the positive outcome of the negotiations and the agreement achieved for hydrocarbons exploration in blocks 2,3 and 9 in the EEZ of Cyprus, noting that the agreement will be in the interest both of Cyprus and its people and the companies participating in the Consortium.

The first licensing round, which concluded in 2007, resulted in granting concessions to Houston-based “Noble Energy” for exploratory drilling in Cyprus’ EEZ block 12. Noble started drilling in September 2011 and the initial data that emerged from the exploratory drilling and the evaluation checks carried out, indicate the existence of a natural gas reservoir ranging from 5 to 8 trillion cubic feet (tcf) with a gross mean of 7 tcf.