Italian oil company Eni will move ahead with its exploration activities offshore Cyprus, said Yiorgos Lakkotrypis, the Minister of Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism in Cyprus.
Lakkotrypis said that he had had a meeting with the leadership of the Italian company ENI during which “we discussed various issues, such as, for example, their planning for exploratory activities in the Cypriot Exclusive economic Zone.”
“We also discussed the issue of the Memorandum of Understanding for the liquefaction terminal in Cyprus. The Memorandum is ready, it has been agreed on, and there are some formalities left, such as its approval by the Council of Ministers, so that we can proceed to its signing in the next few days,” the Minister said.
Asked for his assessment as to what will be done on the part of Eni, Lakkotrypis said that “the initial planning for the exploratory drilling was for the third and fourth quarters of 2014. ENI is now making a great effort to speed up and to begin the exploratory drilling toward the end of August of 2014, something that is very important because it will expedite the procedures for the discovery of more natural gas.”
Eni last year signed Exploration and Production Sharing Contracts with the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism of the Republic of Cyprus, for Blocks 2, 3 and 9 located in the Cypriot deep offshore portion of the Levantine basin, which encompass an area of around 12,530 square kilometres, thus marking the entry of Eni in the country.
Eni was awarded the three blocks whilst leading a consortium formed by Eni (80%, as operator) and the Korean company Kogas (20%) in an international competitive tender (Cyprus 2nd Offshore Licensing Round) which was completed in May 2012.
The oil & gas industry recently shown significant attention to the Levantine Basin as it is one of the newest exploration frontiers with giant gas potential.