NEGOTIATIONS between Cyprus and Noble-Delek over the construction of a natural gas liquefaction terminal are entering a substantive phase Energy Minister George Lakkotrypis said on Tuesday.
Lakkotrypis told the Cyprus News Agency that negotiations on the LNG terminal had been under way for about a month and they had now entered “deep waters” and a “substantive” phase, noting that they concerned the structure and the share capital of the terminal.
The minister said negotiations should be completed by December 2013, when a final agreement was expected, based on the Memorandum of Understanding signed in late June between Cyprus and Noble, Delek and Avner.
Asked about the appraisal drilling in Cyprus` Block 12 by Houston-based Noble, Lakkotrypis said the key stage of the drilling has been completed, adding that the drilling has reached a depth of more than 5,600 meters below sea level.
He added that the evaluation process of the geological data obtained from appraisal drilling has already begun and will last a few weeks.
On the interim solution for the supply of natural gas to Cyprus, Lakkotrypis said a final decision was expected to be announced in around two weeks.
In 2011 Noble announced that exploratory drilling in block 12`s A-1 well revealed an estimated resource of 5 trillion cubic feet (tcf) to 8 tcf, with a mean of 7 tcf.
Noble Energy operates Block 12 with a 70 per cent working interest. Delek Drilling Limited Partnership and Avner Oil Exploration Limited Partnership each own 15 per cent.
Apart from Noble Energy, Cyprus has also signed contracts with the ENI/KOGAS consortium for hydrocarbons exploration in blocks two, three and nine, as well as with French TOTAL for blocks 10 and 11.