Energy Ministers of Cyprus and Greece, Yiorgos Lakkotrypis and Yiannis Maniatis respectively, meet today the EU Commissioner on Energy Union Maros Sefcovic to promote a joint project on a pipeline to transfer natural gas from the Eastern Mediterranean offshore fields to Europe.
Israeli Energy Minister Silvan Shalom will not attend the meeting, as scheduled, due to the political situation in Israel.
The Ministers have sent a letter requesting a meeting with Sefcovic. The meeting will address the issue of the planned pipeline connecting Israel, Cyprus, Greece with Europe in view of the new call by the European Commission for projects of common interest in the first quarter of 2015.
The Ministers are expected to request the approval of the project which emerged from the merger of two separate projects (Cyprus Trans Med pipeline and Greece’s East Med pipeline) and its implementation by the Greek Gas Corporation (DEPA) as a project of common interest (PCI) that will have access to EU funding for technical and feasibility studies.
Projects considered as PCIs will be entitled to request funding from the Connecting Europe Facility with a budget of €5,85 billion.
Reliable sources have told CNA that only new reserves will be channeled through the pipeline, as Cyprus is in consultation with Egypt for a possible sale of the Aphrodite reservoir (estimated at 4.5 trillion cubic feet) located in block 12 of Cyprus’ EEZ. Egyptian Minister Serif Ismail has said during a Cyprus, Greece and Egypt Energy Ministers meeting that his country could absorb Cyprus’ natural gas reserves.
Italy’s ENI is carrying out an exploratory drilling in block 9 with the results expected by January the latest. ENI also has been granted concessions for exploratory drilling in blocs 2 and 3. French TOTAL which has concessions over blocks 10 and 11 will begin exploratory drilling in the second half of 2015.