Cyprus Mail

East Med Gas Forum ‘evolving into international organisation’

Energy Minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis

The East Med Gas Forum (EMGF) will be meeting again in June with the purpose of evolving into an international organisation, energy minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis said Thursday.

Speaking at the 9th Nicosia Economic Congress, Lakkotryrpis said that he hoped the forum – consisting of Egypt, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinian Territories – will take the form of an international organisation.

The forum is necessary in order for eastern Mediterranean gas to be competitive, while member states are discussing issues such as the preferred infrastructure for the optimal exploitation of hydrocarbons wealth.

The region faces many “challenges,” Lakkotrypis said, which is one of the reasons why the United States and the EU support are supporting the EMGF as observers.

The minister underlined the importance of Cyprus and the region for the oil and gas industry, especially after the latest gas discoveries and the recent offshore find in Cyprus’ block 10.

The eastern Mediterranean in general, and Cyprus in particular, were at the centre of discussions at Houston’s CERAWeek event, the premier annual gathering of senior energy executives.

Lakkotrypis said his ministry is working closely with other ministries to create the relevant infrastructure, mainly the new port in Vasilikos, allowing companies to use Cyprus as a base for oil and gas support services.

In his own presentation, Lead Country Manager for ExxonMobil Varnavas Theodosiou spoke of the importance of the discovery in Cyprus’ block 10 with estimated quantities between 5-8 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

Additional evaluation of data is needed before deciding on further exploration in the block.

Theodosiou also spoke of Exxon’s activities in the broader region, mainly offshore Crete and in block 3 offshore Egypt, in close proximity to Cyprus’ block 10, bringing additional synergies into the projects.

“We look forward to kicking off activities in that area in the very near future,” he said.

On the commercialization of block 10, Theodosiou said the ideal option for ExxonMobil would be an LNG plant in Cyprus should more gas quantities be found in the future.

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