Cyprus and Egypt are close to signing an agreement for connecting the Aphrodite gas field to the North African country, Energy minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis said on Monday.
Lakkotrypis, who was in Cairo on Monday for energy-related talks, met with Egyptian Petroleum Minister Tareq El Molla, after which talks were held between the two countries’ delegations.
The minister said following his meeting with El Molla, that they discussed the transnational agreement for an underwater pipeline that will connect the natural gas resources of Cyprus to the coast of Egypt.
The second issue discussed, “which is also important, was to discuss the progress of trade negotiations for the sale of the gas of the Aphrodite field to one of Egypt’s two terminals”.
He said that the discussions were advanced on both issues.
“We are very close to reaching an agreement as regards the bilateral agreement on the underwater pipeline, a necessary agreement to allow for trade negotiations to proceed,” he said.
Lakkotrypis also said that they discussed the progress of the trade negotiations between the energy companies licensed to explore the Aphrodite gas field on the one hand and Egyptian companies on the other.
“At this point too, we are at a very advanced stage. We hope to have results soon,” he said.
The Cypriot delegation included officials from the Cyprus Hydrocarbons Company. On the Egyptian side, the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) participated.
The talks agenda included the planned inter-state agreement for the construction of a gas pipeline from Cyprus to Egypt, Egypt-EU relations in the field of energy and regional energy cooperation.
In November 2017 the two nations signed a preliminary agreement to transport natural gas from Cyprus to Egypt to be liquefied at Egypt’s LNG facilities and re-exported to Europe and other markets.
Cyprus’ Aphrodite reservoir, discovered in December 2011 by Houston-based Noble Energy, is estimated to hold some 4.5 trillion cubic feet of gas.
Cyprus demarcated its maritime border with Egypt in 2003.