While attending a conference in Nicosia, Cyprus last Tuesday, Bournoville said that the European Union has been a strong believer in the Eastern Mediterranean’s energy prospects.
Bournoville said discoveries in Cyprus, as well as Egypt’s Zhor “create opportunities for countries in the region to resolve the energy security needs and a catalyst for regional cooperation since to fully benefit from the gas potential they have to cooperate and work together to ensure competitiveness.”
Addressing the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers conference, she said: “The EU 2014 energy security strategy has made the Eastern Mediterranean gas as one of the main pillars of our diversification strategy, together with the southern gas corridor.”
She also noted that discoveries such as Cyprus’ Aphrodite, Glaucus and Calypso, as well as Egypt’s Zhor create opportunities for countries in the region to resolve their energy security needs and are a catalyst for regional cooperation. Cypriot Energy Minister George Lakkotrypis said following the discovery of Aphrodite, “Cyprus is currently preparing for an extensive exploration programme that will probably take us 24 months to complete,” further adding that: “We hope that it would generate even more discoveries than we have so far.”
Lakkotrypis said that in regards to the Aphrodite Gas Field, the government is in the process of agreeing on the development plan with the gas field’s consortium to be followed by the issuance of exploitation licenses “for transporting this gas via pipeline to Idku, an LNG terminal, where we anticipate we will receive very competitive tolling prices.”
Samy Revel, the Israeli Ambassador to Nicosia said, “Cyprus is not only our closest neighbour in the EU but a natural partner in the development of natural gas,” also noting that recent discoveries in Cyprus, together with those of Israel, Egypt and other countries could create a reservoir, which would justify big projects in the region.
Mai Taha Khalil, Ambassador of Egypt to Cyprus said her country has extensive gas and oil infrastructure, adding that “soon we will have the pipeline between Egypt and Cyprus.”
“This vision for cooperation in the Eastern Mediterranean, among different peoples and different countries has the necessary mix, that is, the common economic interests, common rules shaped by the EU and the vision for the future prosperity and prospects,” said Cypriot MEP Costas Mavrides.