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Plan for Aphrodite gas field to be delivered on Wednesday

ÓõíÝíôåõîç ÊÕÐÅ – Õðïõñãüò ÅíÝñãåéáò Ãéþñãïò Ðáðáíáóôáóßïõ

NewMed Energy, a partner in the Aphrodite gas prospect, will officially announce delivery of their modified development and production plan on Wednesday, the energy minister said on Tuesday.

George Papanastasiou told the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) the government already has the blueprint in draft form and is studying it.

Listed on the Tel Aviv stock exchange, NewMed Energy (formerly Delek Drilling) owns a 30 per cent stake in the Aphrodite field, located in Cyprus’ offshore Block 12.

The minister went on to describe the two-day workshop The Cyprus Gateway: Natural Gas to Power and Liquefaction on Monday as a “great success.”

CNA also reported that there is “immediate interest” in the construction of a pipeline connect Israel with Cyprus.

Citing unnamed sources, the news agency said there exist quantities of natural gas to be sent to Cyprus for immediate use for the purposes of electricity generation.

CNA was told this is why Papanastasiou’s upcoming visit to Israel is important, coming after the statement by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about creating an alternative export route through Cyprus.

The same sources stated that the proposed pipeline should be built in capacities that cover both scenarios – for electricity production in Cyprus, and for liquefaction for export purposes.

For liquefaction to be carried out, there must be adequate information on Israel’s quantities.

Papanastasiou will be in Israel on June 14 and 15, for talks aimed at hammering out a government-to-government deal.

CAN’s sources said that the expectation is to have a preliminary agreement between the two states on the natural gas pipeline and on an electrical interconnector. This agreement is not expected to be signed immediately, “but at least discussions will take place to determine exactly what quantities could realistically be committed for transfer to Cyprus by Israel.”

Earlier this month, the partners in the Aphrodite play announced the start of drilling an appraisal well. The drilling is expected to take about three months.

Other partners in the gas field are US energy giant Chevron and Shell, who each own a 35 per cent share.

Discovered in 2011, the Aphrodite field is located about 170 kilometres south of Limassol, and 30 kilometres northwest of Israel’s Leviathan gas reservoir, one of the world’s largest deep-water gas discoveries.

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