Italian energy giant ENI will expedite its exploratory activities in Cyprus' Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), as it has been further encouraged by developments in the Cyprus problem and a relevant statement by the US government, said the Minister of Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism Yiorgos Lakkotrypis who is currently in Rome.
He also noted that a memorandum of understanding for the construction of an onshore LNG terminal will be signed with the company within the next few days.
In statements to reporters on the sidelines of Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades’ visit to the Holy See, Lakkotrypis said that he had a meeting on Friday with the leadership of ENI during which they discussed various issues, such as, for example, their planning for exploratory activities in the Cyprus EEZ.
"We also discussed the issue of the memorandum of understanding for the liquefaction terminal in Cyprus. The memorandum is ready, it has been agreed on, and there are some formalities left, such as its approval by the Council of Ministers, so that we can proceed to its signing in the next few days," Lakkotrypis noted.
He said that the memorandum states the intention of the company to cooperate with the Cyprus government for the construction of an onshore terminal.
We also had discussions about the exploratory activities of the company for next summer, he noted, adding that "they have been encouraged by the latest developments in the Cyprus problem and in particular by the statement of (U.S. President Barack) Obama that has encouraged them to proceed freely in their activities, because we are talking about hundreds of millions of euros that will be spend.”
Lakkotrypis said that with regard to the establishment of the terminal "we are waiting for the discovery of more natural gas, so that we can proceed with this planning. The memorandum includes a provision for the inclusion of ENI in the entire planning for the construction of the terminal. A similar agreement has been signed with (Texas-based) Noble as well as with the French TOTAL," he added.
Asked what is expexted of ENI, Lakkotrypis said that “the initial planning for the exploratory drillings was for the third and fourth quarters of 2014. ENI is now making a great effort to speed up and to begin the exploratory drillings towards the end of August 2014, something that is very important because it will expedite the procedures for the discovery of more natural gas.”
Preliminary results of a Noble Energy appraisal well for natural gas in Block 12 of the Cyprus EEZ estimate the hydrocarbon reserves between 3.6tcf and 6tcf with a gross mean resource of 5tcf. Noble Energy operates Block 12 with a 70% working interest. Israel’s Delek Drilling and Avner Oil Exploration each own 15%. Noble, Delek and Avner also operate the adjacent gasfields within the adjacent EEZ in Israel.
Last June, the Cyprus government, Delek and Avner signed a MoU for the construction of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in the Cyprus.
The ENI - KOGAS consortium, which has signed a contract for hydrocarbons exploration in blocks 2, 3 and 9 within Cyprus’ EEZ, is planning to drill in the third quarter of 2014, while
Total, which has signed a contract for blocks 10 and 11, is also proceeding with drilling at the first quarter of 2015.
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