The hydrocarbon association on Friday urged officials to draft a comprehensive strategy without delay to secure the uninterrupted continuation of natural gas and oil companies’ operation in Cyprus.
The appeal came as Larnaca municipality ponders whether to grant a six-month extension to a company that provides logistics for oil and gas exploration.
The issue was scheduled for discussion last Monday but it was postponed and rescheduled for this coming Monday, February 8.
Residents oppose the presence of the companies at the port, saying they did not want Larnaca to be an industrial town.
In a written statement issued on Friday, the association asked for a plan to be drafted that would take into account the future use of the port “to ensure tourism development, investment, as well as the residents concerns.”
The study must also set the foundation for a light hydrocarbon industry in a bid to ensure the operation of logistics companies in the next months.
The installations at Larnaca port will be used by energy giant Total that will be undertaking exploratory drilling off the island’s coast.
Apart from French Total, the town’s authorities have also received a request from Italian ENI for a year’s extension with an option for an additional six months after that.
The association said that the decision to postpone the meeting raised concerns among the companies, which were contemplating moving their operations elsewhere.
“It is in the national interest to immediately grant them all the infrastructure and support so that the government is given the necessary time to prepare and implement a strategic plan.”
“The companies are demanding a comprehensive policy on energy matters and preparation of a master plan that will cover all the activities undertaken in relation with the ports and infrastructure inside one year,” the statement said.
This would help the work of the companies carrying out exploration, test drilling, and production, and who will invest in the hydrocarbon sector.