Cyprus launches its third offshore licensing round

The Cypriot Government announced on Thursday the beginning of the third round of licensing for offshore exploration Blocks 6, 8 and 10 in the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Republic of Cyprus.

According to the Ministry of Energy, applications may be submitted within 120 days of the date of publication of the notice in the Official Journal of the European Union.

The announcement was made by Cyprus’ Minister of Energy Yiorgos Lakkotrypis, and the Government’s Spokesman Nikos Christodoulides.

Christodoulides said:“The Blocks that have been selected for licensing comprise, on one hand, of areas which are largely unexplored and, on the other hand, have been interpreted to contain carbonate structures, as is the case of the ‘Zhor’ discovery.

“The formation and development of these carbonate structures are fully associated to the ‘Eratosthenes’ Continental Block, which lies fully within the EEZ of the Republic of Cyprus.”

The Minister of Energy said that the decision for criteria for the selection of the specific blocks was taken based on many factors, geology being the most important of all.

He added that the criteria concerning the granting of hydrocarbon exploration licenses for Blocks in the Cypriot EEZ are the same as in the previous rounds.

Asked what this decision means on a political level, the Government Spokesman said that “it is a very important development, a vote of confidence for the EEZ of the Republic of Cyprus. The natural wealth of Cyprus belongs to the Cypriot people, meaning the people of the Republic of Cyprus and after the solution of the Cyprus problem the Cypriot people in their entirety will be able to benefit from the utilization of this natural wealth”.

To another question the Spokesman said that “the energy developments in the region also strengthen the incentive of Turkey to work in a very specific way, so that the aim for resolving the Cyprus problem is achieved.”

The decision on the applications for this third licensing round offshore Cyprus will be made by the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Cyprus and it is expected to take place within six months from the date of submission of applications.

According to the government’s notice, the criteria that will be used when evaluating the applications are the technical and financial ability of the applicants; the ways in which the applicant intends to carry out the activities that are specified in the licence; the financial proposal of the applicant in order to obtain the licence; and, any lack of efficiency and responsibility that the applicant has shown under any previous licence or authorisation of any form in any country of the world.

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