NICOSIA: Israeli firms Delek and Anver signed an agreement yesterday to acquire a 30 percent stake in exploration rights for gas and oil off Cyprus’s southern shore carried out by US company Noble Energy.
Commerce Minister Neoclis Sylikiotis told reporters that the signing provided a “new era of Cyprus-Israeli strategic cooperation which includes economic and political dimensions”.
Noble Energy Inc was the first to drill when awarded Block 12 after Cyprus launched its energy search in 2007. In December 2011, Noble said it had discovered gas reserves of up to 8 trillion cubic feet, with an estimated value of ¤100bn. This would satisfy domestic needs for decades and could enable Cyprus to become a regional player by exporting gas to Europe from 2019.
Delek Drilling and Anver Oil and Gas Exploration own majority rights in Israel’s own large gas finds in the nearby Leviathan and Tamar fields. The latest deal move comes less than a week after Cyprus signed an agreement with French energy giant Total to conduct exploratory drilling for gas and oil in two blocks off its southern shore.AFP