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Business Cyprus Energy

No further delays seen in drilling programmes

Natsasa Pilides

Companies licensed to operate in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone have not made further changes to their drilling schedules in relation to the coronavirus situation, Energy Minister Natasa Pilides said on Tuesday.

She was speaking to media after a meeting with leader of the ruling Disy party Averof Neophytou.

Pilides recalled that oil and gas companies had already previously informed the government of an approximately one-year delay in operations due to the coronavirus pandemic, but added that there is now no talk of further postponements beyond that.

She said that during a conference call on Monday – where she was also present – President Nicos Anastasiades spoke with top execs from Chevron and Noble Energy, who gave assurances they are still committed to their plans.

“They assured us that all is going well and that if the situation continues to be manageable we shall move forward with the [drilling] programmes as agreed.

“Similar contacts have taken place with the rest of the companies, and we are confident that the management of the pandemic will be such that no new delays are needed.”

During her meeting with Neophytou, Pilides also discussed matters concerning trade and industry more broadly – including various subsidy programmes in the pipeline geared at supporting businesses.

Among others, the energy and trade ministry plans to soon establish a ‘business support centre’.

Regarding renewable energy sources and energy-saving, Pilides said there are different schemes designed to help households and businesses.

For his part, Neophytou said energy should be a national priority, particularly taking into account its importance in geostrategic matters.

He said the sector offers great prospects but also presents challenges, due to Turkey’s provocations at sea.

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