Energy Minister Yiorgos Lakkotrypis says expanding exploration within Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and proceeding with exploitation of the Aphrodite field were the two top priorities for the state in terms of its energy policy.
Addressing the Annual General Meeting of the Cyprus Oil & Gas Association, he said Cyprus was preparing for a well in Onisiforos (Block 11) which was important not so much because of the size of the structure, but to prove that the geological model based on Egypt’s Zohr field actually expands into Cyprus EEZ. He added that two more wells were expected by the end of the year or by the beginning of the next, as well as more explorations in 2018 with the new licensees from the third bidding round.
Speaking about the government’s second priority, he said it was to proceed with the exploitation of the Aphrodite field in Block 12.
“We have looked at all the options and we have concluded that the best option for us is to utilise the energy terminals in Egypt”, he said.
He said the companies were negotiating contracts between them in order to conclude a commercial agreement that would enable the government to approve a field development plan and an exploitation licence of probably 25 years.
“It is fundamentally crucial for us that we are able to close that circle and be able to proceed with our first commercial contract. It’s not easy because of technical and commercial difficulties, particularly because of the current state of the oil and gas industry worldwide,” the minister said.
He also said that the government would continue to explore ways and be ready for all possibilities for the exploitation of natural gas and that for new discoveries “we have all the options ahead us”.
The government will also continue to expand relationships with countries of the region such as Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, Greece, because, he said, the Eastern Mediterranean region with discoveries of 2000 bcm so far, can play a significant role in being an alternative source of supply and routes to the EU.
“…And we feel that we can play a strong role in facilitating that discussion”, Lakkotrypis said.