By George Psyllides
The results of exploratory drilling for natural gas offshore Cyprus are expected in the next weeks, Energy Minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis said on Thursday.
Speaking in parliament, the minister said the well at the Onasagoras field – inside Block 9 — was going well and soon there would be a clearer picture regarding the potential reserves.
The concession is held by Italian and Korean consortium ENI-KOGAS, which also has rights to blocks 2 and 3.
Lakkotrypis said the priority for the government was selling natural gas, while a liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant was an option.
The minister said a pipeline to Turkey was not on the cards.
“The option is not on the table,” he said, adding that a study was being carried out for a pipeline to Greece that could be funded by the EU.
US-based Noble Energy, a company that has discovered natural gas in Cyprus’ Block 12, said on Tuesday that it was leaning towards regional pipelines as its favoured option for monetising its finds, with onshore liquefied natural gas (LNG) now relegated to bottom of the list.
Although all alternatives are still on the table, John Tomich, general manager of Noble Energy (Cyprus) said, the pipeline option was “the most compelling.”
Lakkotrypis said the situation regarding Cyprus’ resources and the best way of allocating them will become clear inside the next two-three months.
The minister said there was a big demand for natural gas in the area, fact that should also be seen from a geopolitical point of view.
“All options are analysed in great detail,” he said. Both as regards the necessary infrastructure for regional sales, compressed gas, onshore plant, and floating platform.
Cyprus’ strategic goal is to become an energy hub and this was gradually progressing with companies setting up shop on the island.