Halliburton, one of the world's largest oilfield services companies with operations in more than 80 countries, has decided to set up a regional base in Cyprus to cover the eastern Mediterranean, government officials said on Friday.
Senior executives were received by President Nicos Anastasiades in the presence of Energy Minister Yiorgos Lakkotrypis, who welcomed the Houston, Texas-based company, in a tweet: “Welcome @Halliburton. All the best servicing Exploration in #Cyprus EEZ. Thanks for the confidence in our potential.”
Later, Lakkotrypis told reporters Halliburton “will provide supportive services in the hydrocarbon exploration process within Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).”
He added that the presence of a company of that caliber in Cyprus constitutes a vote of confidence in Cyprus and its prospects, for the Cypriot economy, something which is much needed.
The Cypriot Energy minister further said that discussions with the company had been ongoing for some time, adding that President Anastasiades was personally involved.
He reiterated the government’s position that in the short term, growth will come from this type of supportive activities. He further said that there are other things in the pipeline which he hopes will be announced soon.
Halliburton is one of many companies hoping to service the exploration and production companies that have acquired licenses in the Cyprus offshore gasfields, as well as in neighbouring Israel and Egypt. Lebanon, too, is seeking to complete its first wave of bidding in order to award exploration licenses within its own economic zone.
Pipe supply giant Weatherford has had a long presence in Cyprus, for over a decade, servicing drilling and oil production companies in the Middle East and Africa, while Schlumberger is also reportedly keen to set up a base in Cyprus.
Last week, the oil-rig supply vessel, the CastorOne, operated by Italian giant Eni, anchored at Limassol port on its way to Egyptian gasfields, as Cyprus government officials are pondering over expansion plans at the main ports of Larnaca an Limassol that are slated for privatisation over the next four years.
“It’s a pleasure to be here in Cyprus today at the start of our operation to support our customers in the country of Cyprus in the ongoing efforts to hopefully produce oil and gas here in the Mediterranean”, Halliburton’s Senior Vice President for Europe and the Sub Saharan African Region Mark Richard.
He thanked the government of Cyprus so far “for their tremendous support and hospitality in helping us to get started here in the country”.
“Hopefully this is the start of many good years to come”, he said.
Replying to a question, he said they are going to build a base of operations in Larnaca.
Asked how many people they expect to employ, he said that will depend “on how much work we actually win from competitive tenders with our customers but it will be considerable at one point in time”.
Sources have suggested that Halliburton is expected to complete the construction of its facilities within the next two months. It is in talks with universities which offer relevant courses in Cyprus.
The same sources say that another company which is active in the same services sector, Schlumberger is also in talks with the government.
Potential customers include Noble Energy and its Israeli partners Delek and Avner, that are operating in the first Cyprus offshore block 12, the French Total and the Italian-Korean joint venture Eni-Kogas.
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