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Cyprus government assigns 30% of block 12s exploration rights to Delek - Avner

12 February, 2013

An agreement of assignment of 30% of Noble’s hydrocarbons exploration rights on block 12 to Israeli companies Delek and Avner was signed, in Nicosia, on Monday.

Speaking after the assignment was signed Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Neoklis Sylikiotis referred to the establishment of “a new era of strategic partnership between Cyprus and Israel”, which have both economic and political aspects.

Recalling that the Noble, Delek and Avner consortium has the majority of shares in Leviathan, within Israel’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), he pointed out that “through the participation of Israeli companies in Cyprus’ block 12, we look forward to significant synergies”. He added that economies of scale can also be achieved via the commercial exploitation of the natural gas discovered in block 12 and the natural gas discovered in Leviathan.

Sylikiotis further spoke of a possible partnership for an LNG plant which would make the transport of natural gas to European and international markets feasible.

Cyprus, he said, has already decided and is moving forward at a fast pace with the creation of an LNG terminal at Vasiliko, in Limassol District.

The Cypriot minister expressed his conviction that the construction of such a terminal “will not only yield benefits for Cyprus as a regional energy centre, but also for Israel and the region in general.

He pointed out that Cyprus’ aim is for the economic and political benefits of this project to be great for the entire South Eastern Mediterranean.

For the first time in the history of the South Eastern Mediterranean, Sylikiotis noted, it is possible to turn our geographical position from a disadvantage to an advantage and to work jointly in order to form conditions of prosperity, peace and progress to the benefit of our peoples.

He further highlighted the fact that his opportunity should be seized, expressing Cyprus’ determination to work honestly and in the spirit of the traditionally friendly relations it has with its neighbours in order turn the hope and prospect at hand into a reality.

Sylikiotis also recalled that the government of Cyprus is waiting for a 2nd exploratory drilling to take place on the part of Noble by next October and for the merchantability of the reserves found to be announced.

“It’s a great pleasure for Noble to have achieved this important step together with our partners Delek and Avner and the government of Cyprus”, said on his part Noble Energy Cyprus Manager John Tomich.

He assured that “we will continue together to appraise the discovery in block 12 and also to follow up with additional targets for exploratory work”.

On his part Delek CEO Gideon Tadmor expressed the point of view that everyone recognizes that Cyprus “has a real potential of becoming an energy hub in this special place we live in”.

There is no question about it, he noted, “it is truly a joint venture not only between people working for commercial companies bringing success to shareholders but also in the governments of Cyprus and Israel working together for the benefit of the people of Cyprus and Israel and for the whole region”.

Referring to the “very significant” discovery of hydrocarbon reserves in block 12, he expressed the hope that it will become “a very fruitful project and we will see how this project will cause other companies to join the effort of investing in oil and gas exploration off shore Cyprus”.

In 2008 Cyprus signed its first hydrocarbon exploration contract with US Noble Energy for offshore block 12. Exploratory drilling conducted by Noble in late 2011 revealed an estimated gross mean resources of 7 Trillion cubic feet. In late January Cyprus signed contracts with the ENI/KOGAS consortium for hydrocarbons exploration in blocks 2, 3 and 9 in the EEZ of Cyprus, while on February 6 it signed hydrocarbon exploration contacts with French TOTAL for blocks 10 and 11.

Noble’s request to assign 30% of its rights at block 12 to Delek and Avner was approved by the Cabinet on February 5.
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