A mix of 15 bidders have applied for rights to explore nine blocks in the Cyprus offshore natural gas licensing round that ended on Friday.
These include international heavyweights Total, Petronas, Gazprom, Marathon and ENI.
Trade Industry Neoclis Sylikiotis said the bidders were from the U.S., U.K., France, Israel, Netherlands, South Korea, Russia, Italy, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, Norway, Canada, Lebanon and Cyprus. They will be reviewed and the winners of the licenses will be announced within the next six months.
He said that the most popular bids were for the licenses in Blocks 2 and 9 in the Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone lying between Israeli and Lebanese waters.
They are close to Block 12 that was granted to Texas-based Noble Energy that discovered a sample of an estimated 7 trillion cubic feet last December.
Last month, Sylikiotis said that interest came from about 90 companies to buy the tender terms and the seismic surveys, with the documents alone boosting state coffers by some 10 mln euros.
As regards cooperation with Israel, either for undersea gas pipelines or for onshore liquefaction plants, Sylikiotis had said he will discuss the matter during an upcoming visit in the next two months.
He added that Cyprus can benefit from the import of natural gas from as early as 2016, probably from the adjacent plots within Israel’s EEZ, also developed by Noble Energy.
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