Speaking after the meeting with the British-Egyptian company, which lasted more than two hours, the CHC president Toula Onoufriou stressed the importance of the meeting. "This meeting is a milestone, marking the beginning of a series of initiatives of the CHC aiming to create better conditions for the disposal of Cyprus gas, so when conditions are mature enough, which is expected in the coming months, to have before us the best possible options," said Onoufriou.
Contacts with BG Egypt would continue with the aim to further elaborate on the issue, by examining more specifically the technical, economic, legal and geopolitical aspects, so that they could conclude on a framework of alternative scenarios for a possible sale agreement, she added.
During the last seven months the CHC has had a series of contacts with international companies to create, according to its President “the best conditions and options for the promotion and sale of hydrocarbons belonging to the Republic of Cyprus.” The meeting with BG Egypt is also part of a regional cooperation between Cyprus and countries in the region, particularly Egypt.
Greece, Egypt and Cyprus had already expressed their commitment to work closely and strengthen their cooperation in areas of mutual benefit, including energy. On November 8, the leaders of the three countries will have a meeting in Cairo. At the same time, the CHC is holding contacts with other international companies that have shown interest in the natural gas of Cyprus, in order to maximise options.
Monday’s meeting in Nicosia was attended by President of BG Egypt Arshad Sufi, Vice President Mahmoud El Tabie and Vice President John Burley. As Sufi stated after the meeting, BG Egypt is one of the major gas producers in the country for 25 years.
“We operate a lot of the infrastructure related to gas and we are here for an introductory meeting to discuss the possibilities for the gas over here. And we hope to continue the dialogue as we look forward to explore the opportunities”, he said. He added that Egypt is a big market for natural gas so “we are looking of the opportunities around to see what sort of volumes can come into the country because we have a lot of infrastructure that can be utilized.”
In that introductory meeting, he said, the company was just exploring to see how much gas could be made available and if it worked, to see how they might utilize it.
Consortium ENI/KOGAS has been awarded exploration licences in Cyprus’ EEZ, namely in Blocks 2,3 and 9. ENI has completed two seismic surveys, and is planning to drill six wells in the coming 18 months. Exploration and appraisal drilling in Block 12 of Cyprus’ EEZ by Noble Energy & Delek has shown estimated reserves of 3.6 Tcf to 6 Tcf, namely 5 Tcf. Further exploration is planned by the consortium.