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Foreign Minister to Platts Energy Week: Cyprus Ready as Key Gas Exporter

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- Also Featured: 1Q Coal Earnings; Non-traditional batteries; an EU energy regulation update

WASHINGTON, May 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Platts – The Eastern Mediterranean could become a major player in global natural gas production, but conflicts over resource ownership still pose a challenge to development, the foreign minister of Cyprus said in an interview Sunday on the all-energy news and talk program Platts Energy Week  (http://www.plattsenergyweektv.com/). All video available at the afore-mentioned link.

Offshore drilling company Noble Energy in December announced the discovery of roughly 7 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of natural gas offshore Cyprus. In the Eastern Mediterranean as a whole, the company has discovered an estimated 35 tcf of gas reserves.

Cyprus foreign minister Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis touted estimates of massive gas reserves offshore the island nation, saying that energy could feed other European Union (EU) countries, which are hungry for stable energy supplies.

"There is much need for energy security and energy supply for the European union especially from a member state of the European Union," Kozakou-Marcoullis said. "Potentially this whole area of the Eastern Mediterranean could be the most secure supply of natural gas for the European Union."

Cyprus would likely build liquefied natural gas facilities to export the gas to Europe, she said.

Cyprus has signed agreements with Lebanon, Israel and Egypt governing gas exploration in the area, which Kozakou-Marcoullis said is critical to moving forward with production in the region.

However, Turkey's decision two weeks ago to begin drilling for gas reserves onshore in the portion of the island it controls have escalated tensions over energy exploration there.

"This is totally in violation of international law," Kozakou-Marcoullis said. 

The Turkish state oil company, TPAO, is drilling on Cyprus under an agreement signed last year between Turkey and the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus (TRNC), allowing TPAO to prospect for and extract hydrocarbons in TRNC territory and in waters around the island.

The agreement followed Turkish protests over the decision by the Republic of Cyprus to allow Noble Energy to start drilling in Block 12 of its exclusive economic zone before a reunification settlement.

United Nations-backed talks between the two halves of the island have been going on for years without conclusion and now appear stalled and a settlement is now seen as highly unlikely before Cyprus takes over the EU presidency in July, the announced target date for an agreement.

In the meantime, Cyprus plans to continue with its plans to expand gas development, with the second round of offshore lease bids ending on May 11, Kozakou-Marcoullis said.

In a program segment entitled, "World's Biggest Battery…For Power Providers?" Chris Shelton, president of AES Energy Storage talked about the increasing industry attention on batteries for non-traditional energy storage needs and how his company is embracing the idea.

As to energy regulation, Platts' London-based EU energy policy editors Paul Whitehead and Siobhan Hall reported on the latest EU developments in energy commodities oversight with an eye to U.S. and global implications. 

This week's "Market Spotlight" focused on the financial performance of the nation's coal companies and Platts Associate Editor Charlie Noh discussed what first-quarter earnings suggest about the environment ahead. 

Platts Energy Week airs at 8:00 a.m. U.S. Eastern time Sunday mornings on W*USA TV 9 in greater Washington, D.C. and in Houston at 4:00 p.m. U.S. Central time on Sunday on KUHT HoustonPBS (Channel 8). The program is also available on the web at www.plattsenergyweektv.com.

The program follows an interview format featuring guests from the energy industry Obama administration, Congress, government agencies, think tanks, and the investment community. Host Bill Loveless is the long-time editor of Platts' Inside Energy and brings nearly three decades of energy journalism experience to the anchor chair.

Platts Energy Week is produced by Platts, the world's leading source of information and intelligence on energy and related commodities and a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies [NYSE: MHP], and W*USA-TV, the Washington, D.C., CBS affiliate and flagship television station of Gannett Company. [NYSE: GCI]. While the program is U.S. focused and produced in Washington, it reflects the global vantage point of Platts, whose correspondents are stationed in such major capitals as London, Dubai, Singapore, Tokyo and Moscow.

Guest booking for Platts Energy Week and related inquiries should be addressed to this email box: plattsenergyweektv@platts.com.  Additional information about Platts and the energy sector can be found at the Platts website at www.platts.com.  For more on W*USA 9 News Now, visit the W*USA website at www.wusa9.com.

About Platts: Founded in 1909, Platts is a leading global provider of energy, petrochemicals and metals information and a premier source of benchmark prices for the physical and futures markets.  Platts' news, pricing, analytics, commentary and conferences help customers make better-informed trading and business decisions and help the markets operate with greater transparency and efficiency.  Customers in more than 150 countries benefit from Platts' coverage of the carbon emissions, coal, electricity, oil, natural gas, metals, nuclear power, petrochemical, and shipping markets.  A division of The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP), Platts is headquartered in New York with approximately 900 employees in more than 15 offices worldwide. Additional information is available at http://www.platts.com.

About The McGraw-Hill Companies: McGraw-Hill announced on September 12, 2011, its intention to separate into two public companies: McGraw-Hill Financial, a leading provider of content and analytics to global financial markets, and McGraw-Hill Education, a leading education company focused on digital learning and education services worldwide. McGraw-Hill Financial's leading brands include Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, S&P Capital IQ, S&P Indices, Platts energy information services and J.D. Power and Associates. With sales of $6.2 billion in 2011, the Corporation has approximately 23,000 employees across more than 280 offices in 40 countries. Additional information is available at http://www.mcgraw-hill.com/.

About W*USA: W*USA is owned by the Gannett Company Inc. (NYSE: GCI).  Gannett is an international news and information company operating on multiple platforms including the Internet, mobile, newspapers, magazines and TV stations. Gannett is an Internet leader with hundreds of newspaper and TV Web sites; CareerBuilder.com, the nation's top employment site; USATODAY.com; and more than 80 local MomsLikeMe.com sites. Gannett publishes 84 daily U.S. newspapers, including USA TODAY, the nation's largest-selling daily newspaper, and more than 700 magazines and other non-dailies including USA WEEKEND. Gannett also operates 23 television stations in 19 U.S. markets. Gannett subsidiary Newsquest is the United Kingdom's second largest regional newspaper company with 17 daily paid-for titles, more than 200 weekly newspapers, magazines and trade publications, and a network of Web sites. Gannett TV stations are: WATL-TV, Atlanta, WXIA-TV, Atlanta, WLBZ-TV, Bangor, Maine, WGRZ-TV, Buffalo, N.Y.WKYC-TV, Cleveland, Ohio, WLTX-TV, Columbia, S.C., KTVD-TV, Denver, Colo. KUSA-TV, Denver, Colo. KNAZ-TV, Flagstaff, Ariz. WZZM-TV, Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo-Battle Creek, Mich., WFMY-TV, Greensboro, N.C., WTLV-TV, Jacksonville, Fla., WJXX-TV, Jacksonville, Fla., WBIR-TV, Knoxville, Tenn., KTHV-TV, Little Rock, Ark., WMAZ-TV, Macon, Ga., KARE-TV, Minneapolis-St. Paul, KPNX-TV, Phoenix, Ariz., WCSH-TV, Portland, Maine, KXTV-TV, Sacramento, Calif., KSDK-TV, St. Louis, Mo., WTSP-TV, Tampa-St. Petersburg, Fla. WUSA-TV, Washington, D.C.

SOURCE Platts



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