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U.S. company Noble Energy is to begin exploring Cyprus' offshore Mediterranean Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) by the end of this year.
Addressing reporters after a meeting with President of the Republic Demetris Christofias Noble Energy's Senior Vice President Rodney Cook stated that the exploration "will start no later than the end of this year," adding that "we look forward to that opportunity" and noted, “with the President we have also discussed beyond the drilling of the well, on how we would 'monetizse' gas upon discovery and further cooperation," the Cypriot government affiliated Cyprus News Agency reported.
Minister of Commerce Antonis Paschalidis commented that President Christofias "approved of these actions and expressed his satisfaction for the cooperation and the outcome so far. Both sides we were reassured to move forward taking firm but yet prompt steps, in a responsible manner, for the completion of the works, according to the contract."
In October 2008 Noble Energy' received an offshore concession from the Cypriot government to explore its designated Block 12 for possible hydrocarbon reserves in Cyprus' EEZ. The concession borders Israel’s “Leviathan” offshore block in Israel's Mediterranean EEZ.
The issue of hydrocarbon exploration in the eastern Mediterranean is frequently contentious, as a number of nations have overlapping claims.
By. Charles Kennedy, Deputy Editor OilPrice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com