ECONOMY

Cyprus announces major natural gas find

Cyprus said on Wednesday an offshore prospect where exploratory drilling is under way contains an estimated 5 to 8 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of natural gas, a find which would make the Mediterranean island self sufficient in energy for decades.

Based on the exploratory drill by U.S. based Noble Energy the prospect, which lies south of the island, contains on average 7 tcf of gas, Cypriot President Demetris Christofias said in a statement.

“The discovery of natural gas in the exclusive economic zone of our country opens great potential for Cyprus and its people, which with prudence and in a spirit of collectiveness we will utilize in the service of natural interest,» Christofias said.

Cypriot officials had earlier surmised the prospect could contain between 8 and 10 tcf of natural gas, and a preliminary range of 3-9 tcf was made by Noble Energy last month.

Proven discoveries could make Cyprus, which now relies almost exclusively on imported and expensive fuel oil to fire its energy grids, self sufficient for decades. The island has estimated needs in gas of 1 billion cubic metres (bcm) per year.

[Reuters]