The government on Tuesday signed a two-year extension with the ENI-KOGAS consortium for exploration of blocks 2, 3 and 9 within the island’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ), it announced.
“Within the next two years, the consortium will conclude studies aiming at better evaluating and recalibrating the geological model of the region, in order to identify prospects necessary to complete its drilling obligations,” an official statement said.
“This development is especially important, as it reaffirms and advances Cyprus’ energy prospects during a period in which the international oil and gas industry is experiencing challenging conditions.”
In December, the cabinet approved the request by the ENI-KOGAS consortium to extend its exploration activities by two more years.
The consortium’s concession was due to expire in February 2016; it has now been extended to February 2018.
Energy Minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis said last month the Italian-South Korean joint venture had asked for more time in order to “re-assess the energy potential”. According to a preliminary plan shown to the government a few months ago the consortium would place their next drill around mid-2017 depending on its re-evaluation of its geologic model.
Previously, following two unsuccessful exploration drills in Cyprus’ Block 9, ENI had been reportedly considering abandoning its operations here.