Cyprus Sees 'Positive' Signs From Offshore Oil, Gas Exploration
Nicosia, May 15 (AP) -- Preliminary exploration for offshore gas and oil reserves in the Mediterranean seabed between Cyprus and Egypt has yielded encouraging results, the Cypriot government said Monday.
"The first data we have is positive and encouraging," Trade and Industry Minister George Lilikas told a news conference. "When we get new and secure data in the near future we will announce it."
Norwegian company PGS Geophysical AS has already completed a two-dimensional seismic survey of the area and is now processing the data, Lilikas said.
The exploration covered an area of some 60,000 square kilometers (23,000 square miles) -- over six times the Mediterranean island's size -- to the south and southwest of Cyprus.
Lilikas said his hopes were heightened by the positive results of Egyptian explorations near the line that separates the two countries' exclusive economic zones.
Earlier this month, Egypt and Cyprus agreed to jointly seek and exploit possible oil and gas fields in the Mediterranean.
Lilikas said the government soon planned a three-dimensional survey in areas the initial survey found promising.