Cyprus opens 3 areas for offshore gas drilling license bids

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Cyprus has formally launched a third round for offshore gas drilling licenses, opening three areas off its southern coast to potential bidders.

Energy Minister Yiorgos Lakkotrypis said Thursday the geological make-up of the sea bed in those areas is similar to that where Italian energy firm Eni last year discovered in Egyptian waters what it said was the largest gas field every found in the Mediterranean sea.

The application deadline has been set for July 22nd.

U.S. company Noble Energy discovered a field around 100 miles (160 kilometers) south of Cyprus that's estimated to contain more than four trillion cubic feet of gas.

France's Total and Eni along with its South Korean partner KOGAS are also licensed to drill off Cyprus.