Cyprus opens more areas for gas exploration

Cyprus has invited companies to apply for oil and gas licenses for 12 blocks in its exclusive economic zone.

?Applications may be submitted within 90 days of the date of publication of this notice in the Official Journal of the European Union,? the government said on Monday in a statement on the website of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism.

Applicants will have to satisfy financial and technical criteria and show an efficient and responsible record in other countries, the ministry said.

Noble Energy Inc, the US company which has the license to explore and exploit gas in Block 12 of the island?s offshore territory, said on December 28 that it discovered as much as 8 trillion cubic feet of gas off the island?s southern coast, Cyprus?s first ever discovery. [Bloomberg]