By George Psyllides
Israel’s Delek Drilling is committed to developing the Aphrodite gas field, its CEO said on Friday, in line with its strategy of supplying the Cypriot and Egyptian markets with natural gas in the fastest and most efficient way.
“We already started the process of marketing the gas into those markets and we have long discussions with potential buyers for this gas and we are fully committed in developing the reservoir,” Delek Drilling CEO Yossi Abu said after a meeting with President Nicos Anastasiades.
Aphrodite, located in block 12 of Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ), is licensed to a consortium made up of US-based Noble Energy, Delek, and Avner.
Last June, the consortium submitted plan on how to develop the reservoir. The government was expected to submit its comments on Friday.
“We and the government are working very closely together in order to do that as fast as possible and as efficient as possible” he noted.
Commenting on the recent discovery of a massive gas field off Egypt’s coast by Italian ENI, Abu said it was a positive development.
Last weekend, ENI announced that its gas discovery at “Zohr Prospect”, could hold a potential of 30 trillion cubic feet of gas, the largest gas discovery ever made in Egypt and in the Mediterranean Sea.
“We are seeing a very positive outcome of the discovery of ENI in Egypt,” Abu said, adding that this heightened the attention on Eastern Mediterranean gas and enhanced the potential for more oil and gas discoveries in the region.
Abu said there was also more potential for more discoveries of oil and gas off Cyprus’ shores.
“The discovery in Egypt brings us to a place that we assess the Egyptian market and the need for gas in this market,” he said. “We see more potential in the local market of Egypt for more demand for natural gas.”
The needs and the demand for natural gas in Egypt is around 60-70 bcm a year, and according to Abu, there was also a place for natural gas from the Cypriot discoveries
Asked about Delek’s interest in acquiring 19.9 per cent of Noble Energy’s shares in block 12, Abu said they were discussing the matter with the American company.
Noble holds 70 per cent of the shares in the consortium with Delek and Avner each holding a 15 per cent share.