The Minister of Energy, Commerce and Industry Natasa Pilides, is in Houston to attend the World Petroleum Congress where she had meetings scheduled with foreign counterparts, US state officials and executives of energy companies that have agreements with the Cyprus government.

In the morning, Pilides met with Tarek El Molla, the Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources of Egypt, and Clay Neff, Chevron’s President for the Middle East, Africa and South America.

At the meeting, the design and bilateral cooperation necessary for creating the infrastructure to transport natural gas from the Aphrodite gas field to Egypt, were discussed.

Pilides also had a one-to-one meeting with Neff as part of the ongoing dialogue between the energy ministry and Chevron with a view to finalising the development and production plan for the Aphrodite gas field.

On Tuesday, Pilides, along with the energy ministers of the United States, Egypt, Romania and Kenya, will take part in a roundtable ministerial discussion titled ‘Energy Cooperation: A new agenda for the changing energy landscape’.

In her opening address, the energy minister will present Cyprus’ strategy and regional initiatives in its effort to promote the green transition, as well as its action plan to tackle climate change issues in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Pilides will also put forward the idea of expanding the East Mediterranean Gas Forum’s (EMGF) scope in order to promote political actions that will help the region become a leader in sustainable development and the transition to greener sources of energy.

On Tuesday she is also scheduled to meet the Secretary General of the International Energy Forum (IEF) Joseph McMonigle.

The Cypriot minister will also meet with the Senior Vice President of Acquisitions & Divestments (A&D) for ExxonMobil, John Ardill, to discuss the company’s exploration programme.

The Cyprus Council of Ministers decided last week to award gas exploration rights for offshore block 5 to a consortium made up of ExxonMobil and Qatar Petroleum. Pilides explained that ExxonMobil would be administering the Block 5 concession with a share of 60 per cent.

This consortium is also scheduled to conduct further testing in Cyprus’ Glaucus-1 site, part of Block 10, before the end of the year.