Oil companies operating the Aphrodite gas field have approved a €192 million investment to start drilling, Israeli company NewMed said on Sunday.
The amount will also cover other development costs for the project in Cyprus’ Excusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
The drill, expected to start in the first six months of 2023, will confirm how much gas is in the field, which has been estimated at 124 billion cubic metres, NewMed said.
NewMed has a 30 per cent share in the Aphrodite field, which is located about 170km south of Limassol in Block 12. The remainder of the share is equally split between Chevron and Shell.
The partners are examining development options, NewMed said, including connecting the field to existing facilities in the area or linking it to development plans for nearby assets in Egypt, Reuters reported.
Israeli energy minister Karine Elharrar will be in Cyprus on Monday to address the ongoing dispute with Nicosia over the Yishai and Aphrodite gas fields, her Cypriot counterpart Natasa Pilides said.
Reportedly, Elharrar will propose to the Cypriot side to take over 10 per cent of the field which the Israeli side considers its own, against monetary compensation.
This comes six months after intergovernmental parleys aimed at resolving the longstanding dispute were announced to be taking place between the two countries.