NICOSIA – The US believes that Cyprus’ natural resources should be equitably shared between the communities on the island in the context of an overall solution.
The position is underlined in a correction issued by the State Department concerning statements made by Victoria Nuland, Department Spokesperson on Tuesday.
Asked to give the U.S. Government position on the “energy game in the Mediterranean” where Israelis are cooperating with Cyprus and Greece; the Russians setting up in the Mediterranean already and Turkey’s complaining because of all these American companies are in the Mediterranean cooperating with Cyprus and Israel, Nuland said:
“Well, obviously we support open and transparent commercial discussions and negotiations”.
About the Cyprus situation specifically, Nuland added “as we’ve long said, we support Cyprus’s right to explore for energy in its offshore areas. In that context, of course, we strongly support the Cypriot-led negotiating process conducted under the UN’s good offices to try to reunify the island in a bizonal/bicommunal federation”.
“We continue to believe that the island’s oil and gas resources, like all of its resources, should be equitably shared between the communities in the context of an overall solution”, she concluded.
Exploratory drilling conducted by Huston-based Noble Energy in Block 12 of Cyprus’ EZZ has revealed a gross natural gas reserve from 3 to 9 trillion cubic feet (tcf) with a 60% probability of geologic success. Noble is expected to extract and transfer to Cyprus natural gas by late 2018. The Cabinet decided on October 30 last year to begin negotiations with several oil and gas consortiums in the context of the second licensing round.