February 15th was a pivotal day for Cyprus, as it marked the first licensing round for hydrocarbon exploration in the Cypriot Exclusive Economic Zone, which was eventually granted to Noble Energy in October 2008. Scientists had long supported that the East Mediterranean region was rich in hydrocarbon deposits, and this was verified when successful drillings took place in Israel. Soon enough, in 2011, Noble Energy announced the discovery of a 5 tr. c. ft. deposit named Aphrodite, located under what was called Block 12.
These successful findings changed the way energy companies perceived the feasibility of Cyprus’s Exclusive Economic Zone, and piqued further interest for exploration in the area, leading to a second round of licensing and, and the concession of additional blocks to the companies ENI/KOGAS and TOTAL.
Despite initial disappointments, which resulted in a pause in exploration actions, a successful drilling took place in the Egyptian Exclusive Economic Zone – an estimated reserve of 30 tr.c.ft of natural gas in August 2015.
As this deposit was just 3 kilometers away from Cyprus’s Block 11, it reignited energy companies’ interest in the Cypriot sea blocks, and a third round of licensing took place, and several blocks were granted to the consortium of ENI/TOTA, and the consortium of the world’s largest energy company, EXXON MOBIL and the Qatar Gas Company.
30 Trillion Cubic Feet
All these significant advances in the field of natural gas have created an optimistic perspective for the future, creating a shift on the island from an energy consumption country to an energy production one. At the same time, the discoveries of new natural gas deposits will lead to the construction of a natural gas liquefaction terminal, thus allowing Cyprus to dynamically enter the energy sector.
The island’s key geographical position, as well as the general instability that plagues the East Mediterranean region, make Cyprus the safest, ideal choice for the construction of an Energy Center for the entire region.
Allowing Cyprus to dynamically enter the energy sector