Acting Special Envoy and Coordinator for Energy Affairs at the US State Department Amos Hochstein has said that the best way to commercialise Cyprus` natural gas is by looking at the Eastern Mediterranean as a whole, noting that “we have to identify a way for taking advantage of existing infrastructure”.
Hochstein, who was speaking to journalists during a teleconference, was asked if natural gas resources in Cyprus were too small to play any role in the European supply.
“I do not think it is too small,” he said. “We are at the beginning of the process of identifying what the size of the reservoirs of recoverable gas is in Cyprus.”
Asked about the best way to get the Cyprus natural gas to Europe, he said the best way to look at this issue is “by looking at the Eastern Mediterranean as a whole”, from Israel to Cyprus, Egypt, Turkey, Greece and “potentially in the future maybe Lebanon as well”.
“The key to commercialising and monetising these great new exiting discoveries is working together. We have to work on the political process obviously, we have to identify a way for taking advantage of existing infrastructure and not trying to replicate each country on its own very costly projects,” he said.
“The more we can work together that would contribute to getting better results for the stability, security and prosperity of the region”.
He also said that each of the countries he had mentioned had “aligned and similar interests”.
Replying to another question, he said that the Eastern Mediterranean is a great example “where if you get the politics right, the payoff is going to be quite considerable and impressive”.
The region could be a source of supply for global markets and specifically for Europe, Hochstein said.
The consortium of Noble Energy and Delek drilling, holds the right to explore Cyprus’ offshore block 12, in the Republic’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) as well as Leviathan and Tamar gas fields of Israel. In late 2011, Noble announced a discovery offshore Cyprus with estimated gross mean resources of 5 Tcf, and is currently studying options for development. The consortium`s successful exploration wells offshore Israel and Cyprus has resulted in the discovery of more than 40 Tcf of new gas resources for this region.
Consortium ENI/KOGAS has been awarded exploration licences in Cyprus` EEZ, namely in Blocks 2,3 and 9. ENI completed two seismic surveys, and is planning to drill six wells in the coming 18 months. (CNA)