Licensed energy companies in Cyprus' Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) remain committed to their program despite the abandonment of many projects worldwide due to the consequences of the pandemic, Minister of Energy, Trade and Industry Natasa Pilides said on Tuesday.
Pilides briefed the Parliamentary Energy Committee on the Ministry`s plans on hydrocarbons exploration, the continuation of Cyprus' drilling program and the comprehensive planning for natural gas, as well as the actions of the Cyprus Hydrocarbons Company.
Pilides told reporters after the end of the Committee that activities in Cyprus EEZ are planned for the second half of 2021, noting that it was particularly positive for Cyprus, as many large companies around the world have abandoned many exploratory blocks.
"The fact that the program continues into 2021 and discussions over the details step up is very positive for us," she said.
She added, however, that the fact that the pandemic continues to affect the entire world is something that must be taken into account and expressed the hope that in the second half of 2021, conditions will allow exploratory activities to continue.
Replying to a question, she said that the postponing of drills during 2020 has not affected the entire schedule and that planning is still in place in order for Cyprus to have the first natural gas in 2025-2026. At this stage, she said, there is no delay, adding that if all goes well with the pandemic, they hope to keep to these timetables.
Replying to another question, she noted that the companies have not raised any issue of postponement due to Turkey. Asked about how many drillings are expected in the coming months, she said that drilling is expected from all licensees and discussions are being held with all consortia licensed in Cyprus' EEZ.