Since 1963, Cyprus has created a well established maritime centre with well founded infrastructure and services able to successfully meet the growing demands of a globalised shipping business. Today, the Cypriot maritime registry is one of the largest in the EU and worldwide. Moreover, Cyprus is the biggest third party ship management centre in the EU. In these challenging times Cyprus offers competitive advantages to the shipping market participants and will continue to play a prominent role as a leading shipping and ship management centre, and will successfully maintain and enhance even further its sound maritime infrastructure, business friendly tax regime, ship registration and tonnage tax rates.
In 2011, Cyprus confirms significant offshore reserves of approximately seven trillion cubic feet of natural gas. These reserves found in Cyprus’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) give rise to an ambitious energy strategy and create new challenges to our shipping industry. A whole new industry will be established in Cyprus to meet the needs of the offshore activities. It is anticipated that foreign shipping companies will relocate their offices and operations in our island in order to explore the benefits of the emerging East Mediterranean offshore market. According to a study by the Human Resources Development Authority, it is anticipated that more than 5000 jobs will be created in the hydrocarbon sector by 2019.
A dominant outlook at present is for Cyprus to export natural gas to Europe via an offshore subsea pipeline passing from Crete to the rest of Greece, connecting Cyprus’ natural gas to the rest of the existing pipelines.
THE OIL SECTOR
Cyprus is fully dependent on imported oil for its energy consumption and electricity generation. There are very low levels of diversity with regards to energy supply as oil imports dominate the market. The limited oil storage capacity of the country sets barriers to security of supply. The dependence of Cyprus on oil is expected to be reduced through the import of natural gas, up until the reserves offshore Cyprus are ready for exploitation, which is further expected to catalytically reduce dependence on oil.