US backs Cyprus’ right to exploit its gas

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The US State Department has reaffirmed its support for Cyprus to tap hydrocarbon finds within its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) despite Turkey’s threats to block it.

“The US policy for the exclusive economic zone of the Republic of Cyprus is long-term and has not changed,” a spokesperson for the State Department said.

The official was commenting after Italian and French consortium Eni-Total announced this week a “significant find” offshore Cyprus in block 6.

It now takes the number of exploitable natural gas finds in Cyprus’ EEZ to four.

The spokesperson said Washington is committed to working with partners and allies to ensure European energy security and reducing the region’s dependence on Russian resources – maintaining pressure on the Kremlin.

Cyprus’ right to develop the resources within its EEZ despite threats from Turkey was reaffirmed.

“We believe that Cyprus’ oil and gas resources, like all its resources, should be shared fairly between the two communities.”

Nicosia says the island’s energy wealth belongs to all Cypriots but can only be shared once a viable Cyprus solution is brokered.

Italian multinational oil and gas company Eni and France TotalEnergies announced a significant gas discovery in the Cronos-1 well, about 165 kilometres off the southwest coast of Cyprus, in block six.

Preliminary estimates indicate it contains about 2.5 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of gas, with significant additional upside that will be investigated by a further exploration well in the area.

Eni drilled the exploration well in the same block where in 2018, it discovered the large Calypso-1 gas field that contains an estimated 4.5 trillion cubic feet of gas.

France’s Total has a 50% partnership in block 6.

US giant ExxonMobil and partner Qatar Energy are licensed to conduct exploratory drilling in two of Cyprus’ 13 blocks.

ExxonMobil has discovered the biggest deposit so far of approximately 5-9 trillion cubic feet of gas in block 10.