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Talks with Egypt over possible gas exports

By a Staff Reporter

THE CYPRUS Hydrocarbons Company (CHC) on Monday held talks with BG Egypt to discuss possible export of Cyprus’ natural gas to the company`s infrastructure in Egypt.

Speaking after the meeting with the British-Egyptian company lasting more than two hours, CHC head Toula Onoufriou stressed its importance for the future exploitation of Cyprus’ hydrocarbons.

“This meeting is a milestone, marking the beginning of a series of initiatives by the CHC aiming at creating better conditions for the disposal of Cyprus gas, so that once conditions are mature enough, which is expected in the coming months, we can have before us the best possible options,” Onoufriou said.

She said that contacts with BG Egypt would continue with the aim to explore in more detail technical, economic, legal and geopolitical aspects, so that a framework could emerge on a range of scenarios for a possible sale agreement.

According to Onoufriou, during the past few months the CHC has had a series of contacts with international companies aimed at creating “the best conditions and options for the promotion and sale of hydrocarbons belonging to the Republic of Cyprus”.

A confab of the heads of state of Cyprus, Greece and Egypt is scheduled to take place in Cairo on November 8, where the leaders will discuss boosting cooperation in areas of mutual benefit, including energy.

Monday’s meeting in Nicosia was attended by the President of BG Egypt Arshad Sufi, Vice President Mahmoud El Tabie and Vice President John Burley.

“We operate a lot of the infrastructure related to gas and we are here for an introductory meeting to discuss the possibilities for the gas over here. And we hope to continue the dialogue as we look forward to explore the opportunities,” Sufi told reporters.

Egypt is a large market for natural gas, he added, “so we are looking of the opportunities around to see what sort of volumes can come into the country because we have a lot of infrastructure that can be utilised.”

BG Egypt is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BG Group. The company is one of the largest producers of natural gas in Egypt spanning the gas chain from exploration through development and production to LNG.

Earlier this month BG Group received a US$350 million payment from the Egyptian government. The payment is the result of the Egyptian government raising funds to help repay debts to the oil and gas sector.

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