Cyprus planning third licensing round

The government of Cyprus plans a third round of offshore oil and gas licensing, according to press reports.

Spokesman Nicos Christodoulides was reported to have said preparations will start soon. He gave no further details.

Turkey, which dominates northern Cyprus, objects to the earlier licensing rounds, claiming Turkish Cypriots were excluded from decision-making.

A group led by Noble Energy Inc. in 2011 discovered Aphrodite natural gas field in deepwater Block 12, awarded in the first licensing round and on trend with the giant Leviathan and Tamar deepwater gas discoveries in Israeli waters (OGJ Online, Nov. 23, 2015).

In a second licensing round after the Block 12 discovery, the Greek Cypriot government awarded two blocks to Total SA and three blocks to a combine of Eni SPA and Korean Gas Corp.

Last month, the Ministry of Energy, Commerce, Industry, and Tourism granted Eni-Kogas a 2-year extension of the initial exploration phase of their licenses.

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