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Gas reserves to be put up for sale (update 2 adds Noble official)

Noble Energy gas rig in Cyprus' waters

US-based Noble Energy will declare gas reserves discovered offshore Cyprus commercially viable in the next few weeks, the government said on Tuesday.

Speaking after a meeting between President Nicos Anastasiades and Noble Energy senior vice president Keith Elliot, Energy Minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis said the company intended to submit a plan for the development of the Aphrodite reserve, and will declare it commercially viable within the next few weeks.

“These two events are very important for Cyprus, because it is the first time that we will move from exploration to hydrocarbon development and exploitation as a country,” the minister said.

“There is still a long way to go, especially as regards commercial agreements that need to be made, but surely the submission of a development plan and declaring commerciality of the reserve would be a very important event, a step forward for our country,” Lakkotrypis said.

“Declaring commerciality sends the message to foreign buyers that we have natural gas for sale. This means that it can be for export or used in Cyprus, or a combination, which is our intention.”

According to Noble Energy, their ‘Aphrodite’ play has proven reserves of between 3.6 and 6 tcf. It’s understood, however, that privately the Americans have narrowed down the quantities to around 3.1 tcf, based on a 90 per cent probability.

Elliot told reporters after the meeting that the effort “is part of bringing the Aphrodite discovery to the next phase of exploitation, it is something that we have been looking forward to for some time now and it is a tremendous opportunity that we hope will bring prosperity to both the people of Cyprus and the government of Cyprus, as well as the other countries in the region.”

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