Cyprus announced the discovery of an estimated 5 to 8 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of natural gas deposits in an offshore prospect where exploratory drilling is under way, Reuters reported.
This is the first discovery of natural gas deposits for the island which could make the country self sufficient in the commodity for decades.
According to the U.S.-based Noble Energy which performed the exploratory drill, the field located in the south of the island contains a gross mean of 7 tcf of natural gas, Reuters cited Cypriot President Demetris Christofi as as saying.
"The discovery of natural gas in the exclusive economic zone of our country opens great potential for Cyprus and its people [...] New favourable economic prospects have opened for the future of the country," Christofias said.
The block, known as "Block 12", covers approximately 40 square miles (25 square kilometres) and will require additional appraisal drilling prior to development.
The island's natural gas needs are estimated at 1.0 billion cubic metres (bcm) per year.