Cyprus starts talks with oil drillers for 4 offshore blocks
Nicosia, Cyprus (4E) – The Cyprus government on Tuesday started talks with oil and gas explorers that were given permits to drill for deposits off the island country’s coast.
Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Neoclis Sylikiotis said the talks aim to reach a deal with Italy’s ENI and South Korea’s KOGAS for blocks 2 and 3, France’s Total ENP Activities and Russia’s Novatec for block 9, and Total for block 11.
Drilling starts after the negotiations are concluded next year, Sylikiotis said.
The commerce ministry approved the drilling permits for the four of 12 blocks bid out in May as the sites were near block 12, whose was license was given to U.S. firm Noble Energy.
Houston-based Noble announced last year that it discovered gas reserves of up to eight trillion cubic feet with an estimated value of $129 billion. Natural gas will be extracted from the block by 2018.