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‘Point of contention overcome’ for Aphrodite gas field

ÓõíÝíôåõîç ÊÕÐÅ – Õðïõñãüò ÅíÝñãåéáò Ãéþñãïò Ðáðáíáóôáóßïõ
Energy Minister George Papanastasiou

The point of contention has been “overcome” regarding the development of the Aphrodite gas field off the coast of Cyprus, Energy Minister George Papanastasiou said on Wednesday.

Speaking after a cabinet meeting, he said the plan for extraction of gas from the Aphrodite field will continue on the basis of the agreed development and production plan from 2019.

“Let’s give some time, and at a later stage, we will be able to give more specific directions and then give more information to the public,” he said.

Asked if the government had drawn up a timeline to respond to Chevron’s latest proposal for how the field should be developed, he said “we want to respond as soon as possible to start planning the joint venture.”

This, he said, would give the government a direction and timetable for exploiting the field.

“We have sent our overseas advisers the company’s proposal, and we will respond in the next few days,” he said.

He went on to say that discussions on the matter have now been “exhausted” and that Chevron “understands that [gas extraction] will be on the basis of the development and production plan which was signed in 2019.”

He added, “the consortium has the opportunity to lead in a different direction, but on the basis of that plan.”

On the matter of the gas itself, he said “it should be released to international markets, and we should focus on substance rather than public statements at this stage.”

He also made reference to an ongoing dispute with Israel over “plot 12”, which contains a small gas field which is connected to the Aphrodite field.

He said there is “no difficulty”, and that he believes that Cyprus’ differences with Israel on the matter should be closed in the next three months.

On the matter of the “Kronos I” and “Kronos II” fields, he said the CEO of Italian company Eni had requested a visit to Cyprus this month.

During that visit, he said, “we believe that we will hear what the company intends to do, in terms of development and a production plan.”

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