Second Round of Undersea Oil,Gas Exploration Bids Launched
The government has given the green light to Minister of Commerce and Industry Praxoula Antoniadou to launch a second licensing round for the exploration of hydrocarbons in Cyprus’s EEZ. The announcement came from spokesman Stefanos Stefanou after a Cabinet meeting Wednesday.
According to government spokesman Stefanos Stefanou, the terms and conditions will be published in the European newspaper. The process will not be with closed bids or with commission either, and Stefanou did not exactly specify the procedure. The spokesman said that evaluations will be finished in 3 months.
Stephanou said that with this decision, the government shows its determination to exercise its sovereign rights in accordance with international law.
Many companies have already expressed interest in drilling in Cyprus’s offshore plots, including Russia, France, Great Britain and the USA.
Some of them have increased their naval presence in the Eastern Mediterranean, with frigates and submarines, after Turkey had made several veiled threats over the issue, saying it will take 'appropriate action' if Cyprus goes ahead and allows offshore hydrocarbon exploration by foreign companies.
Meanwhile, Turkey's state-owned Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) signed a contract with Anglo-Dutch energy giant Shell Wednesday for oil and gas exploration in the Mediterranean and south-eastern Anatolia, AFP reports.
The government is monitoring the situation with Turkey and has already held meetings with the UK to discuss possible responses if Turkey goes ahead with actual undersea drilling.
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