Nicosia, February 16, 2015/ Independent Balkan News Agency
By Kyriacos Kyriacou
A Memorandum of Understanding in the field of oil and gas was signed on Monday by Cyprus and Egypt.
A joint statement of the Cypriot Minister of Energy and the Egyptian Minister of Petroleum notes that in the spirit of the excellent relations between Egypt and Cyprus, and following their meeting in Nicosia on November 25th 2014, the Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Mr Sherif Ismail and the Minister of Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr Yiorgos Lakkotrypis, signed today, in the presence of the Prime Minister of the Arab Republic of Egypt Mr. Ibrahim Mahlab, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for cooperation in the field of oil and gas.
The MoU will, inter alia, facilitate the cooperation between the two countries in the development and exploitation of the Cypriot «Aphrodite» gas field in block 12 of Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone, utilizing gas infrastructure existing in Egypt for the mutual benefit of the two countries.
In particular, the MoU authorizes the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) and the Cyprus Hydrocarbons Company (CHC) Ltd to examine technical solutions for transporting natural gas, through a direct marine pipeline, from the «Aphrodite» field to Egypt.
It is noted that this will optimize the use of the gas infrastructure and achieve an added value for both countries.
This undertaking will be carried out in cooperation with concerned stakeholders in upstream and Liquefied natural gas (LNG) activities. The aim is to conclude an agreement within six months from the date of the signature of this Memorandum of Understanding.
“This MoU is a significant step towards strengthening cooperation between Egypt and Cyprus in the field of oil and gas, which will further deepen the friendly relations between the two countries”, the press statement concludes.
Cyprus is currently developing natural resources discovered within its EEZ, and several international companies are involved in hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation activities.
Exploration and appraisal drilling in “Aphrodite”, in block 12 by Noble Energy and Delek has shown estimated reserves of 3.6 Tcf to 6 Tcf, namely 5 Tcf.