Great interest for hydrocarbon exploration in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone
Cyprus expressed satisfaction for the three applications it has received with regards to hydrocarbon exploration in its exclusive economic zone.
An official statement declared that “a total of three applications for three different exploration blocks were submitted. One application to explore a single exploration block was submitted by a US company. Two applications were submitted by a consortium of three companies from Norway, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom”. The statement added that the “procedure to examine the applications will take place according to the provisions of the relevant law and regulations and is scheduled to be completed before the end of 2007” and that the “Government, after conducting two-dimensional seismic survey within the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Republic of Cyprus in 2006, proceeded with the demarcation of the area into 13 blocks, of which 11 were offered for the first round of granting licenses to search and exploit possible hydrocarbon reserves”.
The Cypriot Government’s intention was announced on 4th May 2007 in the Official Gazette of the European Union and on 14th May in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Cyprus. The interest exhibited is satisfactory and it is expected that during the second round of licenses which is scheduled to take place in 2008, there will be additional available two-dimensional and three-dimensional seismic data of the area and as a result, the interest will be stronger.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, Mr. Efstathios Hamboullas said that “Eight international companies have asked and received the data we have prepared but six have bought all data prepared by the Republic of Cyprus, including geophysical and seismological surveys and the evaluation of the two-dimensional research conducted in the area”.
According to Mr. Hamboullas, it is expected that “the Government will take its final decision before the end of the year. The decision will name the companies awarded the tenders, the terms and conditions of the tenders and the exploration blocks allocated to the wining companies.” He added that the following year, the second phase would follow, which would include the remaining two exploration blocks, for which a three dimensional survey is being conducted.