Cyprus is hoping to begin exporting its natural gas from the “Aphrodite” gas field by 2026, Minister of Energy, Commerce and Industry, Natasa Pilides, has said.
Speaking after a hearing of the parliamentary committee of Commerce, Pilides said there are many options concerning natural gas infrastructures, one of which is a pipeline connecting the Cypriot gas fields with Egypt, either a joint pipeline with Israeli gas fields or separately.
Pilides also said that there were already discussions with companies that own pipelines from various gas fields to the Egyptian natural gas infrastructure and its contractor companies, as they also should be engaged in the talks with a view to developing the infrastructure within the timeframe, that is three to four years.
Our primary aim is to export natural gas from Cyprus within this timeframe through “Aphrodite”, she added, noting that the development would be easier in case additional confirmed natural gas quantities are discovered.
“Aphrodite”, Cyprus’ first natural gas field is estimated to hold a gross reserve between 3.6 to 6 trillion cubic feet (tcf). Explorations carried out by ENI in block 6 of the Cypriot EEZ revealed the extension of a Zhor-type carbonate play into Cyprus, while an exploration carried out by Exxon/Qatar Energy in the Glaucus field in Block 10 revealed an estimated gas field of 5 to 8 tcf. Exxon also carried out exploratory drilling in Glaucus but has not announced confirmed quantities yet.
“The results in ‘Glaucus’ and the results of other exploration drillings by ENI-TOTAL which will follow will be of great importance concerning the broader picture,” Pilides added.
Responding to a question, the Minister said that aim was to exploit Cypriot natural gas reserves as the EU is pursuing energy diversification in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the ensuing sanctions against Moscow.
Moreover, Pilides said that the option of a pipeline to Turkey is quite a difficult endeavor, facing the same challenges as other projects which are technical and financial difficulties.
Furthermore, she referred to the “very constructive” virtual meeting she had with the EU Energy Commissioner last week who requested Cyprus to present its energy plans.
The Minister said Cyprus has submitted a letter to the EU Commissioner outlining the opportunities stemming from its own gas reserves and ways to export natural gas to the EU, as well as Cyprus’ role as a member of the trilateral and multilateral cooperation mechanisms with countries in the region.
Cyprus is the only EU member-state represented in the Eastern Mediterranean and therefore its role could be significant as the EU’s partner in the region, the Minister of Energy said.