THE House plenary yesterday passed an amending law on the continental shelf allowing the Republic of Cyprus to designate security zones around installations in its exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
Parliament also approved regulations giving the minister of communications the power – with the agreement of the ministers of foreign affairs, defence, and energy – to issue decrees for the declaration of security zones for a set or indefinite period of time.
The House said that developments in the EEZ and the continental shelf make it necessary to establish a legislative framework for security zones, which will be no larger than five hundred metres, except in exceptional cases.
The regulations are intended to secure installations as well as marine traffic.
Turkey has made threatening noises against Cyprus’ plans to ‘unilaterally’ develop its possible natural gas and oil reserves, saying both communities on the island must reap the benefits.
Ankara has also staked a claim on some of the Cypriot offshore blocks lying west and south-west of the island.
Houston based Noble has begun drilling at the A-2 appraisal well location in block 12, which will take 60 to 90 days. In 2011 Noble announced that exploratory drilling in block 12’s A-1 well revealed an estimated resource of 5-8 trillion cubic feet (tcf).
Noble Energy operates Block 12 with a 70 per cent working interest. Delek Drilling Limited Partnership and Avner Oil Exploration Limited Partnership each own 15 per cent.
Apart from Noble Energy, Cyprus has also signed contracts with the ENI/KOGAS consortium for hydrocarbons exploration in blocks 2, 3 and 9, as well as with French TOTAL for blocks 10 and 11 in its Exclusive Economic Zone. On June 26, Cyprus government, Delek and Avner signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) or the Cyprus LNG terminal.