articles | 12 March 2015

Cyprus' hydrocarbons sector developments

Several developments in the hydrocarbons sector are expected in the coming weeks, Energy Minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis said on the sidelines of an investment forum in New York recently.

Talking to the press after giving a speech at the Harvard Club of New York City, Lakkotrypis said Noble Energy officials were due in Cyprus next week and are expected to present their final development plan for the Aphrodite field. Also he said the annual report of Delek was due, which according to him would contain important information on the declaration of commerciality for the Aphrodite field.

The consortium of Noble and Delek, holds the right to explore Cyprus’ Aphrodite offshore block 12, in the Republic’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) as well as Leviathan and Tamar gas fields of Israel.

“We will have several developments in the energy sector in the coming weeks,” said the minister.

“We will have the declaration of commerciality of the Aphrodite field, which will be a ground-breaking development for Cyprus, and all of this will happen in the next two weeks.”

He said Cyprus would be moving from the stage of “exploration to exploitation”.

Lakkotrypis met officials from both companies on Wednesday and said all parties were in complete alignment on the way forward. The most important step after the declaration of commerciality would then be the resulting trade agreements “where there is still much work to be done”.

“Right now we are aiming at two main markets… the Cypriot one, the Egyptian one mainly, and perhaps the Jordanian,” he added. “It is not yet clear who will be the final customer,” he said.

The minister referred to the importance this week of President Nicos Anastasiades’ visit to Sharm El Sheikh for the International Conference on the Economic Development of Egypt.  He said Cyprus was in the final stages of discussions on the sale of gas to Egypt.

During his speech as the Harvard Club, an event organised by his ministry, the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and the Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency, Lakkotrypis spoke of investment opportunities in Cyprus, and the island’s comparative advantages as a business centre.

He focused on the opportunities in energy and tourism, including plans for a casino resort.

On energy, he spoke in terms of a future based attracting companies to conduct research, and for infrastructure such as US firm Halliburton, on revenues from drilling and the creation of Cypriot expertise in the field.

“We hope and look forward to the coming weeks to move from the phase of exploration to the exploitation phase and attracting investors,” he said.

Lakkotrypis also spoke about the development with France’s Total, which he said was close to extending an offshore natural gas exploration programme in Cyprus after coming up empty in prior surveys. A renewal agreement is due to be signed next week that will focus on geological surveys in a different area but no drilling.

Source: Cyprus Mail

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