NICOSIA (Reuters) – Cyprus will appoint consultants by the end of the year to advise it on supply and source options for natural gas, its energy minister said yesterday. Cyprus needs to wean itself off its reliance on heavy fuel oil firing its power grids emitting the carbon dioxide blamed for climate change. «The experts will be appointed by the beginning of 2008,» said Antonis Michaelides, the commerce, industry and tourism minister. The consultants would be tasked with drafting specifications for the construction of a land-based or offshore natural gas storage terminal. Michaelides said Cyprus was keeping its options open on the type of gas sought. Solar energy represents 4.0 percent of the island’s energy balance. Eurostat data suggest the less than 1 million people in Cyprus produce between 10 and 20 percent more carbon dioxide than the average citizen of the EU.