Cyprus Mail

Noble Energy not leaving Cyprus, minister assures

Giorgos Lakkotrypis

Noble Energy has never communicated to the government any intention to cease their Cyprus operations, energy minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis said on Monday.

On the contrary, he added, the US-based company and the government are in talks on how to develop and monetise the gas finds of the Aphrodite reservoir, in offshore block 12.

He was responding to a journalist’s question as to whether the Texas outfit would be leaving the island.

“Many of these companies are concerned about [falling] oil prices and, you can understand that over the past few months some have seen their revenues halved…but in no instance has Noble raised this issue,” said Lakkotrypis.

“Companies always have concerns [about the market], and we shall handle matters as they arise,” he added.

Cypriot authorities and Noble are currently discussing how best to develop the Aphrodite play, with Noble expected to present their final development plan for the reservoir by March.

Noble are eyeing regional markets – such as Egypt – exporting the gas.

Regarding oil major Total, Lakkotrypis said that a draft of the revised contract is being vetted by the Attorney-general’s office.

The company is interested in pursuing additional geologic and geophysical surveys along the Eratosthenes seamount, to the south of the island, he said.

Recently it emerged Total had discovered no potential drilling targets in its two concessions and was mulling terminating its contract prematurely.

The government has apparently convinced the company to reconsider.

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