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CyprusEnergy

Government favours clean slate at natural gas board

energy minister
Energy Minister George Papanastasiou

Energy Minister George Papanastasiou said on Thursday that he is much more optimistic about reaching an agreement with Chevron over the development of Aphrodite natural gas field.

He added that the government had also recommended the board of the Natural Gas Public Company (Defa) be dissolved, so new member can be chosen using the advisory board of the state.

Speaking to CyBC in the morning, Papanastasiou said that the ongoing negotiations with Chevron are yielding positive developments, and when the government and the company are ready, they will make announcements.

Commenting on the developments on Defa, he explained that the goal is to select the most suitable people and experts in the field, so that the challenges faced by Defa can be effectively addressed.

At the same time, he clarified that this does not mean that the current board of directors fails to meet its obligations.

He added that for the selection of the new administration, expressions of interest will be requested through the advisory council.

They will assume duties from January 1.

The government has been in ongoing negotiations with Chevron about Aphrodite, submitting its latest response at the beginning of the week.

In May the consortium submitted a revised development plan for the gas field.

The Cypriot government rejected the revised plan at the end of August, with the contract providing for 30 days of negotiations to resolve the dispute. The negotiation period was extended for another 30 days with a deadline on November 5, which was then pushed back again.

The main sticking point between the government and the companies concerns a Floating Production Unit (FPU). Chevron has proposed the FPU be scrapped from the plans as the company wants to connect the field to liquefaction infrastructure in Egypt via a subsea pipeline. But the government favours a FPU arguing it would allow for greater gas recovery, thus maximising revenues for the Republic of Cyprus.

 

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