There is increased interest by international energy companies as regards the third licensing round in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of Cyprus, government spokesman Nikos Christodoulides said on Wednesday.
He was speaking after a meeting in Nicosia between President Nicos Anastasiades and representatives of French giant Total.
Discussion focused on the company’s plans and the third licensing round which expires on July 22, but also in general what the company’s approach in the Middle East is and how this area can contribute to Europe’s energy security,” the spokesman also said.
“It was a very good meeting and we hope that the generally increased interest which is now prevailing will become a lot more specific by the deadline of the invitation for expression of interest,” he added.
Asked whether Total which already has a leased plot offshore Cyprus plans to drill soon, Christodoulides said they wil go ahead as already announced. A drill by the company is set for 2017.
On Tuesday, the President held separate meetings with Italy’s ENI and Israel’s Delek, with the spokesman describing them as constructive.
They too concerned existing obligations in Cyprus` EEZ, the third licensing round and the geostrategic significance of the Eastern Mediterranean for energy designs.
AKEL spokesperson Stephanos Stephanou expressed scepticism over the success of the government’s meetings, saying that serious offers are usually accompanied by months of technical surveys, as opposed to last minute meetings.
Last March, Cyprus launched a third licensing round for the offshore exploration of EEZ blocks 6, 8 and 10 in its EEZ.