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Christofias: Efforts to locate hydrocarbons proceeding very well

22. November 2011. | 10:36

Source: CNA/AMNA

Efforts to locate possible hydrocarbons in Cyprus' Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) are progressing very well, President Demetris Christofias said Monday, in statements on the drilling rig 'Homer', where exploratory drilling is underway in the Republic's Block 12 'Aphrodite', south of Cyprus.

Efforts to locate possible hydrocarbons in Cyprus' Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) are progressing very well, President Demetris Christofias said Monday, in statements on the drilling rig 'Homer', where exploratory drilling is underway in the Republic's Block 12 'Aphrodite', south of Cyprus.

According to an official press release, Christofias said his presence on the platform underscores the Republic's sovereign rights which, as he pointed out, "we are determined to exercise."

After a briefing by Noble officials and a guided tour of the platform, the president said that the issue is of national importance and that is how everyone must address it.

He said an overall strategic plan on pending issues relating to natural gas being piped to land will be drafted.

"This is a very important issue. There are issues which will come up when gas reaches the land. A team of experts has been set up, a team of technocrats, and a strategic plan is being drafted which we will have to examine cautiously and discreetly," he noted.

Referring to the Turkish Cypriots, President Christofias wished that this effort will bear fruit and underlined that "this also constitutes a challenge for Turkey to change its stance to solve the Cyprus problem the soonest possible and co-exploit the natural resources, in the framework of a bizonal, bicommunal federal Republic of Cyprus, a single state with a single sovereignty, a single citizenship and a single personality."

The president said that cooperation and "agreements" the illegal Turkish Cypriot regime has signed with Turkey are illegal, pointing out that the Republic of Cyprus is acting within international law, "and that is what we are doing with Noble Energy and with anybody we cooperate with. I therefore wish that Noble Energy will give us the best possible results the soonest possible." Christofias also said that the second licensing round for hydrocarbons exploration will soon be announced and wished every success to this.

He thanked Noble officials for their presentation, noting that the whole venture is impressive, and wished them luck. He noted that their success is also a success of the Republic of Cyprus.

He noted that he visited the drilling rig to get a personal picture of the entire effort "because there is a lot of very serious work to do.''

''This is an effort which - if successful - it will ensure the future and prosperity of generations to come,'' Christofias said.

During his visit to the platform, President Christofias was briefed in detail by Noble officials on all aspects of the work being carried out.

President Christofias and his entourage visited the Control Room, the remote operating vehicle and the conference room.

Around 130 people work on the platform. They are employees of Noble Drillings and Noble Energy.

Addressing the employees, President Christofias expressed hope that their search for hydrocarbon reserves or "nature's gift", as he called it, yields results.

"I wish you all the best and I hope we will soon have concrete results", he said.

The name of the platform "Homer" hails from Homer Ferrrington, one of the founders of the Noble Drillings company.

According to Noble Drillings, "Homer" has the ability to conduct drillings in a 9,100 meters depth. Houston-based "Noble Energy" began drilling in Cyprus' EEZ last September.

Cyprus has signed an agreement to delineate the EEZ with Egypt and Israel with a view to exploit any possible natural gas and oil reserves in its EEZ. A similar agreement was signed with Lebanon but the Lebanese Parliament has not yet ratified it.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory.


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21. November - 27. November 2011.