Cyprus on Thursday launched a third licensing round for offshore oil and gas drilling off the Mediterranean island’s southern coast.
“The decision to launch this licensing round was based on the huge interest by international companies to carry out explorations offshore Cyprus despite the energy industry’s not-so-favorable conditions,” said government spokesman Nikos Christodoulides.
Nicosia has put blocks 6, 8 and 10 up for grabs close to where Italy’s ENI made a huge find in Egypt’s offshore “Zohr” field that could hold 30 trillion cubic feet of gas.
The field sits adjacent to a Cyprus block licensed to French energy giant Total.
The record Zhor find last August has raised hopes that there is more untapped wealth to be found off Cyprus.
Energy Minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis said on Thursday the geological landscape of the three blocks were similar in structure to the Zohr field.
“They have been interpreted to contain carbonate structures as in the case of Zhor discovery,” he said.