Cyprus and a consortium made up of ExxonMobil and Qatar Energy signed a natural gas exploration and production sharing contract relating to an offshore field, Minister of Energy, Commerce and Industry Natasa Pilides said on Friday.
The signing came in the face of a strong reaction from Turkey, which claims exploration rights in an area off the southwestern shores of the island, which includes Block 5 of the officially declared Cyprus exclusive economic zone that was licensed to the consortium.
Pilides said that despite the increasingly difficult working environment for the global oil and gas industry, the licensing enhances a mutually beneficial partnership in Cyprus’ EEZ.
Pilides said ExxonMobil will be the operator and will have a 60% participation in the project, while Qatar Energy, formerly Qatar Petroleum, will have a 40% share. [Xinhua]