Cyprus has picked Russia’s largest independent gas producer Novatek to explore the island’s offshore oil and gas deposits, Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Neoklis Sylikiotis said late on Tuesday.
Novatek, which is pursuing the goal of doubling its gas output by 2020 from the current 50 billion cubic meters of gas, took part in a licensing round in Cyprus for three hydrocarbon blocks in Cyprus’s exclusive economic area along with Italy’s Eni, France’s Total, Malaysia’s Petronas, Korea’s Kogas and other companies.
The Cypriot Cabinet of Ministers decided on Tuesday to start talks with a consortium of Novatek and Total to grant them a license for exploratory drilling at one of the blocks. Another block will be explored by Total independently and the third block will be operated by Eni and Kogas, the minister said.
All the three blocks are located close to Block 12 where US-based Noble Energy discovered a large offshore gas field with reserves estimated at 250 billion cubic meters, the minister said.