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Hydrocarbons a catalyst for Cyprus regional stability, Minister says

10 April, 2014

The hydrocarbons in the Eastern Mediterranean are not merely an issue of national wealth but they could become the catalyst for regional stability, Defence Minister Christoforos Fokaides has said addressing the start of the NEMESIS 2014 Exercise.

The Minister expressed his confidence that the goals of this multinational exercise will be met. “Even prior to its official commencement, a lot has already been accomplished and for this I would like to commend everyone who has been involved in the planning of this exercise”, he added.

At the same time, he continued, “let us not forget that for the agencies involved in the wider field of marine safety and marine pollution, this exercise is not a one-off goal. It is part of a process, a continuous pursuit”.

He noted that “NEMESIS 2014 is a large scale opportunity to lean and identify valuable lessons in our quest for improvement”.

The Minister also stressed the importance of the exploitation of hydrocarbons in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone for the future of our people. “We recognize, of course, that the exploitation of our Exclusive Economic Zone comes with responsibilities, and I would like to assure you that the Republic of Cyprus is committed to adhering and meeting these new challenges”, he added.

In doing so, as he said, “we are actively pursuing the maximization of cooperation and coordination of all involved parties, both governmental and private sector, based on international law and European Union Directives”.

He stressed that “The hydrocarbons in the Eastern Mediterranean are not merely an issue of national wealth but could become the catalyst for regional stability”.

The Minister welcomed the participation of the United States, Israel and Greece in this exercise, “countries with which the Republic of Cyprus has privileged relations and common interests”, he said.

Addressing the Ambassadors who were present at the exercise, he reiterated Cyprus` strong commitment “to further deepening our bilateral relations, as well as developing common multilateral actions, always in line with our common responsibility to enhance the safety and security of our citizens”.

Preliminary results of an appraisal well carried out by Houston-based Noble Energy for natural gas in Block 12 of Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone estimate the hydrocarbon reserve between 3.6tcf and 6tcf with a gross mean resource of 5tcf. Noble Energy operates Block 12 with a 70 percent working interest. Delek Drilling Limited Partnership and Avner Oil Exploration Limited Partnership each own 15 percent. Total E&P Cyprus Ltd has been granted a license for seismic exploration for oil and gas in block 10 and in parts of blocks 6, 7 and 11 of Cyprus’ EEZ.