Energy Minister George Papanastasiou has issued new communications to Chevron, the operator of the Aphrodite field, from the Parliament ahead of the crucial meeting with Chevron's Chairman, Clay Neff. These communications come as the deadline for resolving the dispute over the development plan of the field approaches.
During his address to the Parliamentary Committee on Finance, while presenting the 2024 budget of his Ministry, Papanastasiou emphasized the government's commitment to uphold the original agreement, urging all parties to honor their signatures. The original plan, proposed by the previous operator, Noble Energy, specifically outlined the construction of a floating gas production unit (FPU) above the field. This FPU is vital for maximizing gas recovery and subsequently increasing revenues for the Republic of Cyprus.
Papanastasiou explained that their projections anticipate gas production in the initial years, but the following five years, which represent significant revenue for the Republic of Cyprus, would see no gas extraction. Chevron's alternative proposal introduces uncertainties, potentially favoring Chevron's interests in the short term at the expense of gas production in the long run. The FPU plays a crucial role in purifying gas from oil derivatives, water, and particulates.
The Energy Minister stressed the importance of respecting the original development plan submitted in 2019, stating that it was the correct course of action that should be honored by all involved parties.
He acknowledged Chevron's investments in Israel's substantial deposits, Tamar and Leviathan while emphasizing the Republic of Cyprus's interests and contributions. Cyprus has made substantial commitments without receiving commensurate benefits, making it imperative for all parties to uphold their commitments.
Papanastasiou underscored that the Aphrodite field is a low-risk asset, ready for development and sale, and he emphasized the need for the necessary infrastructure to proceed with the project.