Cyprus has awarded exploration licenses for three offshore blocks to a joint venture grouping Italy’s ENI and South Korean state firm Kogas.

Under the agreement, which covers Cyprus’ Blocks 2, 3 and 9, an area of 12,530 sq km southeast of the island, the companies will drill both exploration and appraisal wells within a period of three years. ENI will be operator with 80%; Kogas – the world’s largest LNG importer – takes 20%. (CONTINUED - 504 WORDS)