Cyprus has launched a third licensing round for offshore oil and gas drilling in the Mediterranean Sea, on the island’s southern coast, Offshore Post reported. Blocks 6, 8, and 10 of the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone are up for grabs, according to Interfax.
The area is close to where Italy’s Eni made a huge find in August 2015, namely Egypt’s offshore Zohr field with 30tcf of gas deposits. Cyprus’ Energy Minister, George Lakkotrypis, said the geological landscape of the three blocks contains carbonate structures similar to the Zohr field.
The blocks are likely to attract bids from Eni and Total, which already hold acreage and are looking to expand their exploration footprints.
The Cypriot government expects the bidding to be relatively active as large discoveries were made in nearby Mediterranean waters in recent months. The government thus justified the bidding round based also on a huge interest in the country’s unexplored offshore waters as expressed by international companies, despite less favorable business conditions in the global oil and gas industry.