Cyprus announced that offshore reserves in its Aphrodite gas field have been pronounced commercially exploitable, the first such development in four years of energy exploration.
US firm Noble Energy made the first find off the southeast coast in 2011 in the Aphrodite field (Block 12), which is estimated to contain around 127.4 billion cubic metres (4.54 trillion cubic feet) of gas.
“Noble Energy International, Delek Drilling and Avner Oil Exploration, holders of a licence for the exploration of hydrocarbons in Block 12 of Cyprus’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), have declared commerciality of Aphrodite,” the energy ministry said in a statement.
It said the venture will now submit a development and production plan to the government covering method and timeline for extraction and sales. It is subject to cabinet approval.
The ministry hailed a “significant milestone to Cyprus’s transition from the hydrocarbons exploration phase to that of exploitation.”
“It is another important step towards the monetisation of the country’s indigenous natural gas reserves, both for domestic electricity generation… as well as exports via direct subsea pipelines to neighbouring countries.”
Cyprus and energy-starved Egypt are looking into the possibility of transferring gas from the Aphrodite field to Egypt via an undersea pipeline. Cyprus hopes to begin exporting gas, and maybe oil, by 2022.