Cyprus as a business hub
The geostrategic position of Cyprus has played a major role in shaping its history and contributed to its modern emergence as a key business hub in the Eastern Mediterranean. Cyprus has provided the catalyst for investments and services between Europe, Africa and Asia by developing one of the most secure, stable and attractive business environments in the region. By adopting EU standards (as a full European member since 2004) and creating an advanced telecommunications network, infrastructure and investment friendly tax regime, Cyprus became a highly reputable international shipping center, ranking among leading maritime nations in the world.
Definition of the Republic of Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone
The definition and delimitation of the Republic of Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) has been progressed through the following key activities:
- 1988: Cyprus ratified the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) which defines “the rights and responsibilities of states in their use of the world’s oceans, establishing guidelines for business, the environment and the management of marine natural resources and regulating the territorial waters, contiguous zones and exclusive economic zones (EEZ) of states”.
- 2003: Delimitation Agreement of the EEZ with the Arab Republic of Egypt ratified in 2004
- 2004: Cyprus passed a Law defining and regulating its EEZ. “Law to provide for the Proclamation of the Exclusive Economic Zone by the Republic of Cyprus” (the “EEZ Law”)
- 2007: Delimitation Agreement of the EEZ with the Republic of Lebanon
- 2010: Delimitation Agreement of the EEZ with the State of Israel ratified in 2011.
- 2013: Common utilization Agreement with the Arab Republic of Egypt.
Oil and Gas Activities in the Cypriot EEZ
Recent Oil & Gas activities in the Eastern Mediterranean have revealed the possibility of significant hydrocarbons reserves in the area and also within Cyprus EEZ. With Egypt and Israel already established as hydrocarbons producers, Cyprus is in the process of fully exploiting its hydrocarbons potential and contributing to regional and European energy security.
- 2007: The Government of Cyprus proceeded with its first licensing round for eleven offshore blocks.
- 2008: Awarded one Hydrocarbon Exploration License to Noble Energy International LTD for offshore block 12.
- 2011: Exploration well drill by Noble in Block 12 leads to the discovery of the Aphrodite field with contingent reserves estimated between 5-8 tcf (trillion cubic feet).
- 2012: The Government of Cyprus proceeded with its second licensing round consisting of 12 offshore blocks.
- 2013: Total awarded two Hydrocarbon Exploration Licenses for offshore blocks 10 and 11.
- 2013: Appraisal well drilled by Noble and Delek group on Aphrodite field confirms a discovery of contingent reserves between 3.6 – 6 tcf
- 2016: BG Group (now part of Shell) joins the Block 12 Licence with a 35% shareholding
- 2016: The Government of Cyprus proceeds with its third licensing round consisting of 3 offshore blocks.
- 2017: The Government of Cyprus awards licenses for all three blocks on offer in the 3rd licensing round; ENI International and Total in Block 6, ENI International for Block 8, and ExxonMobil and Qatar Petroleum for Block 10