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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 11-02-16

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    US company Noble Energy intends to accelerate the natural gas extraction process in offshore Cyprus, Vice President of international operations at Noble Terry Gerhart said Wednesday.

    A company delegation headed by Gerhart met with the President of the Republic Demetris Christofias at the Presidential Palace, in the presence of the Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Antonis Paschalides, during which they discussed the issue at hand.

    Meanwhile, Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou has assured that the government would do whatever possible to serve the vital interests of the Republic of Cyprus as regards the exploitation of natural gas reserves in its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

    Invited Wednesday to say how the government is proceeding with the project, he said that the government would examine and weigh all facts with a view to serve the vital interests of the Republic of Cyprus.

    The government of Cyprus will do whatever possible to serve the vital interests of the Republic of Cyprus, he stressed, noting that issues concerning Cyprus natural gas reserves need to be handled with confidentiality.

    After the meeting with President Christofias, Vice President of international operations at Noble Terry Gerhart said we had a very good meeting with the President. We shared our plans that are moving forth with our drilling operation, adding as we told the Minister, our intention is to accelerate the drilling of the well in Cyprus, block 12.

    He stressed that our hopes are to be able to start the well as early as the fourth quarter of 2011 or possibly slipping into the 2012, said the senior company official.

    He also said that we are very excited about the prospect and very excited about working in Cyprus and hopefully finding some gas and being able to bring that in the Cypriot market.

    Asked about the estimate of the reserves in that block, he said that we currently dont have an exact estimate, adding that we had quite a bit of success on the Israeli side with our discoveries of tamar and leviathan but at this point we dont have an exact estimate.

    But the structure that we can tell from seismic, its very favourable to be a sizeable quantity, he noted.

    Asked if they have set a date to start the drilling process, he said that we dont have a specific date for drilling but we are working very diligently to accelerate the process.

    There is a lot of activity that has to go on before the actual drilling. These are complex deep water wells in several thousand meters of water, he pointed out.

    Asked how natural gas, if found, is going to be transferred to Cyprus, he said that we discussed with the President various options, one involves a pipe line being constructed and bringing the gas in Cyprus.

    Replying to another question, he said that we are working with Delek in Israel they are our partners in Israel and we are looking forward to them being a partner in Cyprus if approved.

    Asked if Noble would be interested in a second license for offshore oil and gas exploration to be issued by Cyprus later this year, he said that we didnt have that discussion today with the President but obviously that would be something that we would have some interest in.

    Asked if they are looking at other areas in the Mediterranean at this moment, he said that we have our hands full at this point with this part of the Mediterranean but what I can say is that we do have some interest in some other parts of the Mediterranean.

    Noble Energy received an exploratory license for Block 12 in October 2008, which is located in Cyprus`s exclusive economic zone. The block borders Leviathan, in Israel`s exclusive economic zone, and may be part of the same geologic structure in the Levant Basin.


    Foreign Minister Markos Kyprianou has briefed Qatar leadership on the current phase of the ongoing direct negotiations, between the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus. Kyprianou paid on Wednesday a visit to Qatar.

    According to an official announcement, Kyprianou was received by Emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, to whom he conveyed a personal message from President Demetris Christofias. He also met with Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Qatar Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabr Al-Than and had a working lunch with Deputy Foreign Minister Ahmad Bin Abdullah Bin Z. Al-Mahmoud.

    Meanwhile, Markos Kyprianou will be visiting Thursday Israel to hold talks with his Israeli counterpart, Avigdor Liberman. During the meeting bilateral and international issues of common concern will be discussed, as well as the Cyprus problem.


    Cyprus is determined to proceed with fiscal consolidation, Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou said on Wednesday, in the wake of a report by the EU Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) and remarks by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on the Cypriot economy.

    On Tuesday, ECOFIN approved Cyprus` fiscal adjustment programme, whereas a team of the IMF said that there is a gradual economic recovery in Cyprus, pointing out however that the island should solve the structural problems of the economy.

    ``Both the ECOFIN report and the remarks made by the IMF on Cyprus` economy reaffirm the government`s two fundamental positions: that the Cypriot economy is on a recovery course and that consolidation and correction of the economy`s contortions are needed,`` Stephanou said. Concerning the need for the correction of accumulated structural problems of the economy, Stephanou said this is pointed out both by the IMF and the ECOFIN.


    The European Commission announced Wednesday that it has decided to terminate the infringement proceedings against Cyprus relating to the Law on estate agents, which restricted the activities of professionals from other member states.

    Following the Commissions action, estate agents from the European Union are free to establish themselves and exercise their activities in Cyprus. According o the European Commission, EU estate agents can now choose to perform their activities in Cyprus and thus exercise their right to freedom of movement as guaranteed by the European Treaties.

    This situation will also be to the benefit of all citizens, who will have the option of contacting an estate agent near to them in order to obtain information with a view to acquiring a property in Cyprus.

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