In statements to the press, at the Presidential Palace, following a meeting of the Cabinet, Government Spokesman Mr Stefanos Stefanou, noted:
“The Council of Ministers decided, at the meetings of 30 October and 19 December 2012, the resumption of direct negotiations with the company Total regarding the granting of licenses for hydrocarbon explorations for blocks 10 and 11.
The negotiations, which began on 13 November 2012, were intensive and were concluded following twelve rounds of multi-day meetings. During that period the competent Ministerial Committee held frequent meetings and was kept informed on the course of negotiations.
During the negotiations the competent Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism was assisted by his advisory team which comprised the Minister of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment, the Deputy Accountant General, the Director of the Energy Service, the Legal and Accounting Advisor of the Ministry of Commerce in the exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons within Cyprus’ EEZ Mr Stavros Stavrou, Mr Hadjittofis and Mrs Antoniou.
As a result of the negotiations, improvements were achieved on the initial technical and financial proposals of Total. The Minister of Commerce, having deemed that the negotiations made were successful, in accordance with regulation 7 of the relevant regulations on hydrocarbons, submitted the contract before the Council of Ministers. Once the contract is signed by both parties, the relevant license for hydrocarbon exploration will be granted to the specific company for blocks 10 and 11″.
This decision is the follow-up to the decision of the Council of Ministers regarding the signing of contracts with the companies ENI/KOGAS for another three blocks.
The total number of blocks within Cyprus’ EEZ for which licenses for hydrocarbon exploration were granted is five.