European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen's speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos and what she said about the energy sources of the Old Continent is essentially the first step in the role that the Eastern Mediterranean and its reservoirs can play in the EU's efforts to cut its dependence on Russian hydrocarbons. Ms. von der Leyen's speech is of particular importance for Cyprus as well. Noting that Russia is instrumentalizing its energy reserves, the President of the Commission presented the main points to facilitate a turning point in Europe's energy supply. "At this very moment, Europe is finalizing new agreements with reliable suppliers from around the world. In March, I agreed with President Biden to significantly increase LNG deliveries from the US to Europe. More LNG and pipeline gas will also come from the Middle East and North Africa. New LNG terminals in Greece, Cyprus and Poland will be put into operation soon, as well as new interconnections ".
LNG from Cyprus
The report was received with great satisfaction in Nicosia both for the EU's general interest in EastMed hydrocarbons as well as the prospect of Cyprus becoming a link in Europe's energy supply chain.
Ms. von der Leyen essentially refers to the creation of infrastructure for the liquefaction of natural gas, which will be supplied by the deposits from the eastern Mediterranean. The reference to Cyprus, despite the fact that there are no details, essentially refers either to the creation of onshore facilities at Vassiliko or to an intermediate selection of floating natural gas liquefaction facilities. In this regard, on the table is a proposal from the company Energean for a floating gas liquefaction station (FLNG) in Cyprus. The relevant proposal was made by the CEO of the company Mathios Rigas at the last tripartite meeting Cyprus-Greece-Israel. The floating station, in the first phase, will process natural gas from deposits managed by the company in the Israeli EEZ. LNG will then be channeled to European markets through the FSRU facilities in Alexandroupolis and Revythousa. The floating station will also be able to meet the needs of the internal market of Cyprus for electricity production.
The report of the President of the Commission was received with great satisfaction in Nicosia both for the EU's general interest in the hydrocarbons of the eastern Mediterranean as well as for the prospect of Cyprus becoming an important link in Europe's energy supply chain. With the prospect of land infrastructure on Cypriot soil, sources from Brussels argued that the report of the President of the Commission concerned Vassiliko. This would be in addition to the options for commercial exploitation and Cypriot deposits. This undoubtedly combines the energy sources of the region which in combination with the terminals (Inkut and Damietta) can become one of Europe's main energy suppliers.
Ursula von der Leyen's announcements in Davos are not unrelated to EU plans for investments worth 300 billion euros by 2030 to cut its dependence on Russian fossil fuels by 2027. And here the announcements were made by the President of the Commission who estimated that investments of 210 billion should be made in order to end the dependence on Russian energy resources. According to Ursula von der Leyen, the lion's share of € 86 billion will be spent on RES, € 56 billion on energy savings and heat pumps, € 29 billion on electricity grids and € 27 billion on hydrogen infrastructure. The plans also include 12 PV and LNG infrastructures with investments of 10 billion euros.
Drilling in block 6 from ΕΝΙ-TOTAL
After two years of inactivity, the ENI - TOTAL consortium returned to the Cypriot EEZ. The French-Italian consortium, which had suspended all activities within the EEZ in April 2020 due to a pandemic, returned and started work. As officially announced, the consortium has started work on block 6 where a marketable deposit has been found. Specifically, the Ministry of Energy, Trade and Industry announced that with the arrival of the drillship "Tungsten Explorer", the drilling works of "Cronos-1" in Unit 6 of the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Republic of Cyprus have begun and are being coordinated by the consortium Cyprus Limited and TotalEnergies EP Cyprus BV.
[This article was translated from its Greek original]