Noble Energy’s Senior Vice President Rodney Cook said that drilling in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone “will start no later than the end of this year”.

Speaking to the Press after a meeting he had with President of the Republic Demetris Christofias, Cook said that he informed the President on “the upcoming drilling”, adding that “we look forward to that opportunity”.

Asked whether there is a specific date the drilling will start and if there are any findings so far, he said that at this stage no specific date can be set, explaining that the rig will be used for some work in Israel first for a specified period of time, adding that “our target is certainly by the end of the year and we can’t really give a more definite date than that”.

Cook said that both the President and the Minister of Commerce –with whom he met this morning – pledged their support, adding that “with the President we have also discussed beyond the drilling of the well, on how we would ‘monetise’ gas upon discovery and further cooperation”.

Minister of Commerce Antonis Paschalides said that the President was briefed on all the actions taken so far, adding that the President “approved of these actions and expressed his satisfaction for the cooperation and the outcome so far”.

“Both sides we were reassured to move forward taking firm but yet prompt steps, in a responsible manner, for the completion of the works, according to the contract”, the Minister underlined.

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