Moratorium on energy plans would be the end of Cyprus’ energy prospects, Lakkotrypis says


Outgoing Energy Minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis told Kathimerini Cyprus that a moratorium on the Republic’s energy plans due to internal or external instabilities would mean the end of any energy prospects for the country.

Asked by Kathimerini Cyprus to evaluate his seven-year term as the Republic of Cyprus’ Energy Minister, and invited to assess whether Nicosia could put its energy plans in the Cyprus EEZ on hold, Lakkotrypis said that “if the time comes when we tell our companies ‘stop whatever you’re doing due to the Cyprus problem or due to Turkish challenges’, that will be the end of any energy prospects for the country, clearly.”

Though drillings may be postponed anew in view of the plunge in natural gas prices in international markets, Lakkotrypis did not appear concerned, but stated that markets form a more complicated part of the equation for Cyprus.

“We have had two crises in recent years, in 2016 and now a deeper crisis,” Lakkotrypis said, but noted that there is no cause for concern as energy companies plan long-term.

Lakkotrypis added that a new round of licensing of plots within the Cyprus EEZ is always on the table, depending on developments. He referred to the launching of the third round of licensing that took place in 2016 after the discovery of the Egyptian Zohr gas field.

Natasa Pilides, who until recently served as Deputy Shipping Minister, was sworn in as Energy Minister on June 29.

[Kathimerini Cyprus]