Cyprus to invite new gas supply bids for domestic energy needs

NICOSIA, Cyprus – Cyprus says it will launch a new round of bids to supply the bailed-out country with natural gas to meet domestic needs until it can tap its own offshore reserves.

Energy Minister Yiorgos Lakkotrypis said Friday it will be a seven-year contract with the option of extending it by three more. An earlier round yielded no deal.

U.S. firm Noble Energy in October expressed interest in pumping gas to Cyprus from a field off the country’s south coast, but the project will take time. Noble and its Israeli partners Delek and Avner are looking to develop the field, estimated to hold 3.6 trillion to 6 trillion cubic feet of gas.

Cyprus plans to build an onshore gas processing plant to export excess supply.