Cyprus is offering three large, undrilled deepwater blocks on-trend with recent giant gas discoveries in Cyprus, Israel and Egypt. The authorities are looking to capitalise on Eni’s play-opening Zohr discovery, which will draw companies to the multi-tcf potential that could exist in other Miocene Carbonate structures in Cypriot waters. Despite the tempting prospectivity, the fiscal terms will need to take into account the commercialisation challenges. There is no existing infrastructure or meaningful local gas market that would allow the swift monetisation of any discovery. Value creation will be heavily dependent on securing access to export markets. Cost recovery and profit share are the two items that will primarily dictate government share, but the size of signature bonus will be the most public indication of interest in the acreage. But with few able offer large short-term financial commitments, this could lead to some aggressive bidding on the profit-based fiscal terms.
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High hopes from recent big gas finds, but market access will be crucial