Gas licences given to four companies

Neoclis Sylikiotis

Cypriot Commerce Minister Neoclis Sylikiotis

From CyprusMail

By Elias Hazou

FOUR licences for gas exploration in offshore blocks were announced by the government last night as part of the second licensing round launched in February.

The blocks for which the licenses have been awarded are: 2, 3, 9 and 11. They are all contiguous blocks, lying north and north-east of Block 12, where US firm Noble Energy has a concession to drill.

For blocks 2 and 3, licenses were awarded to a consortium consisting of ENI from Italy and KOGAS from South Korea; the license for Block 9 went to a consortium consisting of Total E&P Activities Petrolieres (operator), NOVATEC Overseas Exploration & Production GMbH and GPB Global Resources BV from Russia; and the Block 11 license went to Total E&P Activities Petrolieres.

Commerce Minister Neoclis Sylikiotis said the reason why the government decided to give the green light to these four blocks was the potential for economies of scale due to the fact the blocks are contiguous and in close proximity to Block 12, where significant reserves of natural gas (between 5 and 8 trillion cubic feet) have been found.

Sylikiotis said evaluation of the bids submitted for the remaining blocks (except for blocks 1, 4 and 13, for which no bids were made) would continue – meaning another batch of licenses could be awarded in the future.

In total, 15 bids from five companies and 10 from joint ventures were submitted in the second licensing round.

The minister said negotiations with the companies and consortia leading to possible exploration contracts would begin soon and should be completed within a few months.

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© 2013 Energy Tribune

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