Energy Minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis said on Wednesday that despite the geopolitical challenges and recent incidents in Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), the government remained committed to exploiting hydrocarbon reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean.
In a speech at the Eastern Mediterranean gas conference in Nicosia, the minister said that despite the geopolitical challenges Cyprus and the region faces, the recent incidents regarding Cyprus’ efforts to drill Block 3 of its EEZ and Turkish provocations, the country would continue to work with countries in the region not only to advance Cyprus’ interests and the region as a whole.
He added that if Cyprus was able to conclude the sale of Aphrodite’s field gas to Egypt, liquefy it and then ship it to Europe it would be the first Eastern Mediterranean gas to reach the EU.
“That will be a significant milestone which the Republic of Cyprus is committed to taking all the way,” he said.
Concerning the development of Aphrodite gas field, the minister said that the Republic is currently in commercial talks with Egyptian customers and terminals in Egypt. He added that discussions between the Cypriot and Egyptian governments sought the necessary framework to enable the sale of Aphrodite block gas to one of the two liquefied natural gas plants in Egypt.
Significant progress both on the commercial side and the bilateral government side had been made, he said, adding that the government had submitted to the EU the intergovernmental agreement for the framework of a pipeline between Aphrodite and Egypt, and the EU has to respond within a few weeks.
“We remain committed to both the Egyptian government and also our partners both here in Cyprus and in Egypt to try to find a conclusion in what is a very difficult equation, considering the outside conditions in the market, both in terms of international prices of oil but also in terms of the rather hostile nature of development of the Aphrodite field because of the technical circumstances in the depth of the water,” he said.
Lakkotrypis said that the drillings planned in Cyprus EEZ in 2018, mainly in block 10 by Exxon Mobil, would give a pretty good idea of the scale of Cyprus’ resources.
Replying to question on the sidelines of the event regarding the Turkish president’s statement that the country will start drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean, Lakkotrypis said that Cyprus was cooperating with all the other countries in the region and would continue to do so, despite the provocative actions of one of its neighbours.
Asked if the government felt it had the support of its European partners, he said that the presence of so many representatives of companies active or not in the Cypriot EEZ spoke for itself.
Source: Cyprus Mail