Cyprus’ hopes of becoming a regional natural gas player are all but dead more than three years after the discovery of the 5 tcf Aphrodite field. The five blocks awarded in early 2013 have yielded nothing, with no further drilling planned before their February 2016 expiry.

Before arriving in Cyprus in January 2012, your correspondent did some reading up on the state of the economy. “Cyprus is hugely leveraged…[with a] formidable refinancing schedule,” the FT said. So he expected to find a sense of foreboding at the coming economic storm. Not a bit of it. (CONTINUED - 2118 WORDS)