Cyprus: Significant progress in talks with energy giants

Energy Minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis said significant progress has been achieved in negotiations with energy giants Total and Eni over an offshore concession inside the island’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

“One more round has been completed today with the Total-ENI consortium over the block 7 licence,” Lakkotrypis told the Cyprus News Agency.

The minister added that significant progress has been achieved on commercial, technical, and legal aspects.

“Some outstanding legal aspects will be clarified within a short time so as to reach a final agreement.”

After a gas discovery made by Total and ENI in neighbouring block 6, the government decided last year to launch a closed licensing round between companies with concessions bordering block 7.

The final agreement will be put before the hydrocarbon advisory committee before going to the cabinet for approval.

Foreign Minister Nicos Christodoulides said on Thursday that developments concerning the energy programme should be expected in the next few days.

A day earlier, Christodoulides visited Paris where he held meetings at a political level. He also met with Total deputy director of North Africa and Middle East Elias Kassis, with whom he discussed the company’s future plans in Cyprus, both in relation to drilling targets and new blocks.

Talks are taking place amid tension sparked by Turkey, which dispatched a drillship inside the Republic’s EEZ, disputing its right to explore and exploit any reserves.

Cyprus has reported the Turkish actions and has won the verbal support of the EU.