The interest of foreign oil companies in acquiring licences in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone will become evident only after the government issues the relevant competition call, Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou said today.
Stephanou added however that many companies have already displayed their interest in acquiring the exploration results in the area.
He reiterated the government’s decision to launch a second licencing round in Cyprus’ EEZ blocks and noted that the appropriate documents are being prepared, in accordance with the relevant EU directive and Cypriot law.
Asked on whether oil giant Shell is also among the companies bidding for EEZ blocks, Stephanou said that “no company is yet bidding for anything”.
Turkey, whose troops occupy Cyprus’ northern part since they invaded in 1974, does not recognise the Republic of Cyprus.
Shell recently signed an agreement with the Turkish state energy company TPAO for hydrocarbon exploration off Turkey’s southern coast, in the maritime area north of Cyprus.
Following a decision by Nicosia to begin natural gas and oil exploration in its Exclusive Economic Zone, Ankara has deployed warships in the Eastern Mediterranean and has signed an illegal agreement with the Turkish Cypriot regime in occupied Cyprus to delineate what it calls continental shelf.
Drilling has already begun and is being carried out by Houston-based “Noble Energy”, off Cyprus’ south-eastern coast.