South Cyprus will sign an agreement with the French energy giant Total for exploratory drilling in blocks 10 and 11 of its Exclusive Economic Zone, Minister of Commerce Neoclis Sylikiotis said yesterday.
Sylikiotis was commenting on a statement of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayip Erdogan who spoke about “unrealistic dreams of the Greek Cypriot administration” in the Mediterranean Sea.
“We will continue exercising our sovereign rights and exploiting our natural resources for the prosperity of Cypriots ” Sylikiotis pointed out, underlining that South Cyprus exercises its sovereign rights on the basis of the international law and is supported by the international community.
At the same time, he noted, “Cyprus claims a broader regional role as a country that can promote energy cooperation among the countries of the region”.
Commerce Minister further stressed that Cyprus will go ahead with building a liquefied natural gas terminal which “we aspire that it will become a regional energy hub”.
All these are promoted with the EU’s support and for many of these projects Cyprus has submitted proposals to the EU to receive funds, Sylikiotis noted.
The Green party, however, is against the building of the terminal because of its potential for environmental pollution.
Replying to a question he said that the agreements signed between Cyprus and ENI-KOGAS for exploratory drilling in blocks 2, 3, 9 of its EEZ and the one that will follow with Total, are financially but also politically important. “They shield Cyprus and its sovereign rights” he underscored.
Exploratory drilling conducted by Huston-based Noble Energy in Block 12 of Cyprus’ EEZ has revealed a gross natural gas reserve from 3 to 9 trillion cubic feet (tcf) with a 60% probability of geologic success.
Noble is expected to extract and transfer to the south by late 2018.
Contracts were also signed on January 24 with the ENI/KOGAS consortium for hydrocarbons exploration in blocks 2, 3 and 9 within Cyprus’ EEZ.