The Exclusive Economic Zone (E.E.Z) of Cyprus is an off shore area of sea totalling more than 70,000 square kilometres. Generally speaking an E.E.Z. of a country extends 200 nautical miles from the shoreline. In the case of Cyprus the E.E. Z., it has been divided into 13 segments. It is in segment 12 known as the Aphrodite area, south of the island, that the natural gas deposit estimated to be in the region of 5 trillion cubic feet (tcf) has been discovered following exploratory operations conducted by the three companies who hold the license for exploration in that area, namely the American company Noble Energy International, Israel’s Delek Group and a subsidiary company Avner Oil Exploration. The news was announced by the Ministry of Energy in a press release on 7th June 2015. The Ministry said that in accordance with the contract agreement, the companies will now submit a detailed development and production plan to the Cypriot government leading to the commercial exploitation of the Aphrodite field. The plan will require government approval, whereupon, if satisfactory, a licence for the exploitation rights will be granted.
The Ministry stressed that the find was an important step in Cyprus being able to profit from its natural indigenous resources, and to use them for the benefit of the country in various ways. It is anticipated that some will be used for the production of electricity and also for export to neighbouring countries with which Cyprus has maintained good relationships. The exportation of the gas will necessitate the laying of a pipeline under the sea.It should also be possible to supply gas for domestic and commericial use rather than relying on bottled gas or liquid L.P.G as at present.
All of the activity consequent to the discovery of the viable natural gas deposits is likely to benefit both the economy and those working within the resultant industry and support services. The influx of specialist workers will also likely give a boost to Cyprus property sales and rentals. This is the first such discovery, and more may follow, which is very good news for Cyprus as it heads towards economic recovery.
Sources: www.goldnews.co.cy, greece.greekreporter.com, http://en.wikipedia.org.
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