Nicosia, September 1, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency
The latest developments regarding the exploitation of Aphrodite gas field in Cyprus` Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) were examined during a meeting Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades had on Thursday with delegations of the companies comprising the consortium which has the concession on block 12 of Cyprus` EEZ, namely Noble, Shell and Delek.
In statements after the meeting, which he attended, Energy Minister Yiorgos Lakkotrypis said they discussed existing challenges as regards international oil prices and generally the hydrocarbons market.
“We have agreed that we will move on, we will speed up (the process) and find the best ways to exploit Aphrodite gas field towards the Egyptian market, following the (Egyptian) Petroleum Minister`s visit to Cyprus,” he added.
On his part Noble CEO David Stover said in his statements after the meeting that “one of the big things we are continuing to look at is how we identify the cost and firm up the cost of the project”, adding that another big key is developing the market so there is a lot of effort going into just establishing where one would sell the gas and what price would one have to support the project.
Lakkotrypis noted that they had the chance to meet with the consortium in its new form, as its new member, Shell, was also present at the meeting, adding that this is the first time that the three companies` senior officials visit the President of the Republic.
Asked if any timetables have been set, the Energy Minister said that they are currently discussing how to shorten the deadlines, as this is to the benefit of everyone, and also to have a commercially viable project for the development of the gas field.
Asked if they are looking into the scenario of co-exploiting gas fields in the region, he said they were not, noting that Aphrodite gas field will be developed on its own.
He also said that there are members of the consortium which are only engaged in Cyprus’ EEZ, and so they do not look into the potential of co-exploitation.
Stover said in his statements that “you` ve got a great, strong partnership to continue to move this project forward,” adding that during their meetings with the President and at the Ministry they examined “where we are in the project and our plans for what we need to do to continue to move forward.”
Asked if it is possible to speed up the process, he noted that “there are a number of things that have to come together as far as the timing. One of the big things we are continuing to look at is how we identify the cost and firm up the cost of the project. “
“I think it is a great market opportunity right now with very few big projects in the world moving forward to continue to have an opportunity to develop this project in a window that is most efficient from a costing point. So we are looking very hard what that cost could be for the project,” he noted.
He added that “another big key is developing the market, so there is a lot of effort going into just establishing where would you sell the gas and what price would you have to support the project. So those are two of the key things we are working on right now.”
Asked if the agreement signed on Wednesday between Cyprus and Egypt was helpful towards this direction, he said that “any agreement like that between neighbouring governments is going to be helpful because it is going to take agreements like that make these projects work. So definitely it`s helpful,” he added.
Cyprus and Egypt signed an agreement on Wednesday, in Nicosia, creating the legal framework for energy companies to go ahead with their own commercial talks on the transport of natural gas from Cyprus to Egypt via a sub-sea pipeline.
Invited to say if there are any ideas to create an FLNG, Stover noted that “FLNG is probably not something in the near-term immediate plans. I think that`s probably not as cost-effective right now but we are looking at all the different alternatives, and part of the process right now is really just establishing what`s the market going to be and what would that support.”
Source: Cyprus News Agency