Cyprus Grants French Drilling Company Access to Offshore Gas

Working to loosen financial binds, Cyprus is giving foreign drilling companies access to vast amounts of offshore energy.

In the face of national financial strain, Cyprus has opened its borders and shores to a French oil company for drilling. Total SA now has license to drill in the country, a move that government officials believe will generate revenue.

The licensing agreement opens two of 13 available blocks on the country’s southern coast and these blocks are

west of the U.S. Noble Energy-operated gas field. This field is operated by Noble in partnership with the Israeli company Delek and holds anywhere from 5 to 8 trillion cubic feet of gas.

Two weeks ago, Cyprus released three additional blocks to a partnership between Italy's ENI SpA and South Korea's Kogas.

Cyprus is in the process of finalizing an international rescue loan that could reach €17 billion ($23 billion) to aid the country’s failing economy.

It is estimated that Cyprus’ waters hold 60 trillion cubic feet of gas. Because the market value of 1 trillion cubic feet of gas is €7.4 billion ($10 billion), the country has much to gain from selling these blocks of offshore property and a planned onshore processing facility is completed. This facility will produce liquefied gas for export, which is estimated to being in 2019.

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