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Busy year for Cyprus energy prospects

Energy Minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis

Cyprus’ energy agenda in 2016 will be extensive, Energy Minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis said on Monday.

Within a few weeks, he told reporters, the entry of British Gas (BG) into the Block 12 consortium should be completed.

In late November, BG Group announced it acquired a 35 per cent stake in the block following an agreement with concession holder and operator Noble Energy. The agreement is subject to government approval.

Lakkotrypis said a number of developments should be expected vis a vis exploration for hydrocarbons.

“We are hoping for at least one drill [in 2016], but also exploration activities by the other companies which hold concessions [in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone].”

On the tripartite meeting between Cyprus, Israel and Greece – the first at the level of heads of state – to be held in Nicosia on January 28, the minister said the Presidential Palace was currently drafting the agenda.

“It is very important to promote geopolitically our bilateral and trilateral meetings, perhaps even four-way meetings,” Lakkotrypis noted.

Asked if he was alluding to Jordan as the potential fourth party, he declined to elaborate.

“Let us not jump the gun. We have ahead of us a very important trilateral, between Cyprus, Greece and Israel, and from there on an effort will be made to expand it,” he noted.

The first trilateral political consultations at the foreign ministry level were held in Athens on November 12 , 2014. The three parties focused on the prospects for cooperation in the fields of energy development, immigration, combating terrorism, tourism, the environment, water management, and research and technology.

The January 28 tripartite will be held just as Israel and Turkey are initiating talks to normalise their relations, after the two countries fell out over the deadly storming by Israeli commandos in 2010 of a Turkish aid ship, the Mavi Marmara, bound for Gaza.

 

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