Natural resources and energy
After large gas deposits were discovered off
the coast of Cyprus at the end of the 2010s, there are
high hopes in the country to build a thriving energy
sector. But at the same time, there is a risk that the
natural gas resources may deepen the conflict between
both parts of the country.
Cyprus has had significant assets of asbestos and
copper, but they have been exhausted. The last asbestos
mine was closed in 1988 and then copper was also on the
pour. Now small quantities of marble, chrome, plaster,
salt and zinc are extracted, mainly in the north.
Major exports by Cyprus with a full list of the top products exported by the country. Includes trade value in U.S. dollars and the percentage for each product category.
Investments are made on both solar and wind power, but
Cyprus is still completely dependent on imported oil for
its energy supply. The oil is purchased from the Middle
There is natural gas in the sea off Cyprus and
probably also oil. It is hoped to become self-sufficient
in energy by extracting these assets. Several foreign
companies are active in the pursuit of oil and natural
gas off the island. The Greek Cypriots signed an
agreement with Egypt and Lebanon in 2006 to drill for
oil and gas in the sea south of Cyprus, and in 2007 a
similar agreement was signed with Israel. The
co-operatives angered both the Turkish Cypriots and
their patronage Turkey, which considers the operation
illegal without Turkish Cypriot participation.
Abbreviationfinder: A popular acronym site in the world covering abbreviation for each country. For example, CY stands for Cyprus.
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In 2011, the test wells showed that there was plenty of
natural gas off the south coast. In 2015, this gas
field, Aphrodite, was considered commercially profitable
and in 2019 Cyprus and Egypt signed an agreement to draw
a pipeline at sea to transport gas from the Aphrodite
field to Egyptian liquefied natural gas production
plants. In the long run, we see further exports to
In 2012, the state-owned Turkish oil company TPAO
began drilling for oil and natural gas in the Turkish
Cypriot, northern part of the island. This led to
protests from the Greek Cypriot government, which
considered the drilling of violations to be contrary to
UN resolutions respecting the sovereignty of Cyprus.
At the end of the 2010s, new discoveries of natural
gas were made. In 2018, the Calypso field was discovered
and a year later, the US energy giant Exxon Mobil, after
test drilling, found the promising Glaucus field, the
largest find to date in Cyprus's economic sea zone. The
Government of Cyprus is planning to build a port in
Vassilikos for the gas and oil industry in Cyprus to be
In early 2020, Cyprus, Israel and Greece signed an
agreement to build a 190-mile gas pipeline, EastMed, to
transport natural gas from Israeli and Cypriot gas
fields to Europe. The management is supposed to go via
the Greek island of Crete and the Greek mainland to
Europe. The goal of the European countries is not least
to reduce their dependence on Russian gas.
Electricity is produced in Greek Cypriot southern
Cyprus. In accordance with a 1974 agreement, Turkish
Cypriots in the north receive their deliveries from
there without having to pay. The Greek Cypriot part of
the capital Nicosia, on the other hand, gets its
drinking water via pipelines from the north. In 2016,
the electricity grids in southern Cyprus and the north
were combined into a single common grid.
At least since the 1970s, both southern and northern
Cyprus suffer severe shortage of fresh water. It is said
that older Cypriots still remember rivers and lakes on
the island that are now dehydrated. Water rationing is
sometimes introduced, but interest in water recycling
has been weak. Cyprus has been designated as the country
in the EU that will first be completely without fresh
water. Most reservoirs are almost empty. Rainfall across
the island has decreased by 15 percent since the 1970s.
Greek Cypriot governments have, after the turn of the
millennium, built large plants to desalinate seawater,
and since 2001 they account for half of the water used.
But desalination is done with the help of electricity
from oil-fired power plants and is seen as too expensive
and energy consuming to be used for other than domestic
Nor does the north-side import of water into tankers
from Turkey benefit agriculture. Already in 1986, a
proposal was made to build a water pipeline to northern
Cyprus from the Turkish mainland, but only in 2012 was
the project reported to have started.
FACTS - ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT
Energy use per person
1 710 kilos of oil equivalent (2014)
Electricity consumption per person
3621 kWh, kWh (2014)
Carbon dioxide emissions in total
6 062 thousand tonnes (2014)
Carbon dioxide emissions per inhabitant
5.3 tonnes (2014)
The share of energy from renewable sources
9.9 percent (2015)
Suspected participation in conspiracy
Turkish Cypriots' new Prime Minister Derviş Eroğlu and former President Rauf
Denktaş are identified in a Turkish criminal investigation, suspected of
involvement in the so-called Ergenekon affair. Ergenekon is described as an
ultra-nationalist right-wing organization that should have planned to overthrow
the Turkish Islamic-based government.
UBP whalers in the north
The conservative, nationalist National Unity Party (UBP) wins big in the
Turkish Cypriot parliamentary elections. President Talat remains but is weakened
by his party CTP's election loss. Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
warns the new government to suspend or disrupt the peace talks.