The management of revenues from the exploitation of natural gas reserves, discovered within Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (AOZ), will be under the full responsibility of the Cypriot government, Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism George Lakkotrypis has said.

In statements to the press following a meeting with the leadership of the ruling DISY party, in Nicosia, the Minister said that he briefed the leadership of DISY on the provisions of a Memorandum agreed yesterday between the Government and the Troika on energy issues.

“We have exchanged views on some specific provisions and informed the leadership of DISY on how we have managed to safeguard our sovereign rights with regard to the revenues from natural gas, but also the management of the exploitation of our natural wealth”, he said, adding that “we also had the opportunity to exchange views on energy issues in general”.

The Minister said that he briefed his interlocutors on government plans to bring natural gas to Cyprus faster both for internal consumption and for export.

He also said that they discussed his upcoming visit to Lebanon and Israel, as well as interim solutions and renewable energy issues and matters relating to the state policy on energy.

Asked Cyprus’ sovereignty rights in relation to natural gas have been secured, he explained that this was made possible by including an explicit provision in the memorandum that “both revenue management and the management of exploitation of natural gas will fall under the full responsibility of Cypriot Government “.

He also noted that the Troika’s role on this matter would be advisory.

The Minister said that he leaves tonight for Lebanon, where tomorrow he would meet his Lebanese counterpart and other officials to discuss the Cyprus – Israel agreement on the delimitation of the EEZ between the two countries.

Exploratory drilling conducted by Huston-based Noble Energy in Block 12 of Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone, revealed a gross natural gas reserve between 3 to 9 trillion cubic feet (tcf) with a 60 percent probability of geologic success. Noble is expected to extract and transfer to Cyprus natural gas by late 2018.

On January 24, Cyprus signed contracts with the ENI/KOGAS consortium for hydrocarbons exploration in blocks 2, 3 and 9 in the EEZ of Cyprus, while on February 6 it signed hydrocarbon exploration contacts with French TOTAL for blocks 10 and 11.

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