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Cypriot Gas Find Worth €100 Billion, Minister Says

Cypriot Minister for Commerce Praxoulla Antoniadou has said that a gas find by Noble Energy in Block 12 could be worth around €100 billion.

Results released by Texas-based Noble yesterday morning put the gas resources in offshore area at between 5 and 8 trillion cubic feet (tcf) with a gross mean of approximately 7 billion tcf.

Speaking to Cypriot television channel CyBC last night, the minister said that the find is worth “tens of billions” of euro.

“If you want an indication, if you consider that 6,000 cubic feet is equal to one barrel of oil, then approximately 7 tcf is equivalent to one billion barrels, and to give an indicative value of these deposits based on the barrel analogy, the deposits in one of the 13 blocks are worth around €100 billion in value,” the Cypriot newspaper Cyprus Mail reports her as saying.

Amid the elation of Cyprus and Noble at the find, tensions between Cyprus and Turkey have once more come into play. Turkey has previously encroached on Cyprus’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in the Mediterranean Sea in response to the exploration of the area by Noble Energy. Turkey, which invaded Cyprus in the 70s and occupied a substantial portion of the island, refuses to acknowledge or accept the soverignty of the Cypriot government.

Yesterday, President of Cyprus Demetris Christofias urged Turkey to remain peaceful and cooperative in light of the find.

“We appeal to Turkey and we call on her to show a spirit of peace and cooperation, to avoid any adventurous actions and provocations that cause problems in the negotiations as well as tension in the Eastern Mediterranean region,” he said.

“Turkey is called on to respect the UN resolutions on Cyprus and the Law of the Sea and to work in a tangible way for a solution. Peace and cooperation are not served through confederative and partitionist aspirations. They are served only through the reunification of our country, a development that will allow the Turkish Cypriots to also benefit from the wealth that nature has endowed our country with.”

The president welcomed the gas find, saying the discovery was an opportunity to unite Cyprus, rather than to divide it.

“The discovery of natural gas can and should become a tool to promote peace and cooperation in the region,” he said.

“The exploitation of hydrocarbons can become an incentive for a solution to the Cyprus problem, a solution that will terminate the illegal occupation and the illegal colonisation, that will reunify our country and our people and will restore the human rights and the basic freedoms of our people, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots alike”

Natural Gas Europe, 29 December 2011