* ENI has until December to finalise terms
* Cyprus to set up fund modelled on Norway's oil fund
NICOSIA, June 21 The timing of a third bidding
round for Cyprus' gas acreage has yet to be determined as two
blocks from the second round have not been finalised, the energy
minister said on Friday.
Cyprus, which received an international financial bailout
earlier this year, is keen to develop untapped offshore gas
reserves to power future economic growth.
So far, it has allocated gas exploration acreage in two
bidding rounds and signed production sharing contracts with U.S.
based Noble Energy, France's Total and South
Cyprus Energy Minister George Lakkotrypis said the second
round was not quite closed and the timing of the third round had
yet to be decided.
Charles Ellinas, chief executive of state-owned Cyprus
National Hydrocarbon Company, said Italy's ENI was
still finalising the terms for its production-sharing agreement
and had been given until December to decide on two outstanding
"There is still an option left open for ENI for additional
blocks until December," Ellinas said.
ENI was not immediately available for comment.
Lakkotrypis said the revenues from the gas will be dealt
with through a sovereign wealth fund, which will be set up
shortly, modelled on Norway's oil fund.
One of the biggest investors in the world, Norway's fund
invests the money from its oil industry in the nation's future.