The American company Exxon Mobile, French Total, Italian Eni and Qatar Petroleum received contracts for studies of hydrocarbons in the waters near the island of Cyprus. Eni and Total, each with 50% share, received license to explore Block 6 in Cyprus offshore zone. The Italian concern was also awarded with 100% share in license for development of Block 8, while Exxon Mobile and Qatar Petroleum were awarded with license for the exploration of Block 10. The contracts will be approved at the March 17 at the regular meeting of the government. With the deal Eni has gained the right to explore an area of 2,215 sq km near the giant Zohr discovery off Egypt, which is not far from the listed blocks.
Last year Eni discovered large offshore reserves at Zohr discovery off Egypt that could reach 850 billion cbm. The discovery of Zohra raised hopes that new reserves can be found near the island of Cyprus.
However, the Cyprus cabinet will discuss the proposals regarding the contracts agreed with the selected companies, so that they can be approved and can proceed with the next stage which is the signing.
Cyprus launched its third offshore licensing round in May 2016. Three blocks (6, 8 and 10) have been put up for auction. In late December, the government announced the preferred bidders with whom it would begin negotiations with a view to awarding concessions in the third licensing round.
Eni has been present in Cyprus since 2013 through its subsidiary Eni Cyprus Ltd and holds exploration rights on Blocks 9, 3,2 (Eni 80% Op., Kogas 20%) awarded in the second round. Now the company was awarded with licenses for Block 6 (50%) and Block 8 (100%).