NICOSIA, Cyprus – The Cypriot government has awarded licenses for three exploration blocks offshore the southern part of the island under the country’s 3rd licensing round.
Awards were as follows:
Block 6: Eni Cyprus/Total E&P Cyprus
Block 8: Eni Cyprus
Block 10: ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Cyprus (Offshore)/Qatar Petroleum International Upstream.
A team led by the Minister of Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism and the Minister of Finance will negotiate contract terms with the successful applicants.
If successful, the government will grant hydrocarbon exploration licenses. Otherwise, runner-up applicants will be invited to negotiations.
Unsuccessful bidders are thought to include Statoil and Cairn Energy.
Eni said of its blocks that the areas have geological affinities with those the company has successfully drilled offshore Egypt, leading to discovery of the Zohr gas field.
The company won rights to blocks 9, 3, and 2 assigned under Cyprus’ 2nd international bid round in 2012, and holds three exploration blocks on the Egyptian side: Shorouk (the location for Zohr), Karawan, and North Leil.
Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi said: “It is another step towards a possible future definition of a powerful hub for natural gas in the Eastern Mediterranean, which could play an important role in the future energy security of the area, as well as potentially in Europe’s energy security.”