Cypriot gas is a step closer to being piped to Egyptian liquefaction plants Idku and Damietta, if a deal goes through without objection from the European Commission.
A final draft has emerged with Egypt and Cyprus agreeing all the fine details, which would regulate the construction of an underwater pipeline from Aphrodite to the two LNG terminals, Idku and Damietta.
The two countries have been holding high level talks in the past, with President Nicos Anastasiades and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi setting a tone of cooperation. Cyprus has also reached out to Israel and other countries, in hopes to maximise the potential for regional cooperation.
A pipeline from Aphrodite would attract Israeli gas from Leviathan, thus justifying even further a route to Egypt for liquefaction
The overall Aphrodite gas deposit is estimated to hold 4.5 trillion, owned by US-based Noble, British-Dutch Shell, and Israel’s Delek Group. But the annual output, which could reach 300 billion cubic feet, is too small to justify an independent pipeline, compared to a giant find in Egyptian Zohr which holds 30 trillion.
Local experts and government officials hope that a pipeline from the Aphrodite gas field would also attract Israeli gas from Leviathan, thus justifying even further a route to Egypt for liquefaction.
But the deal is not yet in the clear
The European Commission will have to review the agreement to make sure there is no violation of EU laws and regulations, based on Decision 2017/684 that provides for member states to submit their intergovernmental and non-binding agreements on energy for potential issues.
The Commission will either have to raise objection within five weeks or simply allow the deal to go through. The case documents are currently in Brussels, according to a source with Kathimerini. Sources say they do not expect to see an objection.