JERUSALEM: The Aphrodite natural gas field off Cyprus is commercially viable and plans call for producing 8 billion cubic metres (bcm) a year and construction of a pipeline to Egypt, the partners behind the project said on Sunday.
Cyprus, which required an international bailout in 2013, is hoping for an economic turnaround based partly on offshore reserves.
Texas-based Noble Energy and Israel’s Delek Group discovered the deposit, estimated to hold 128 bcm of gas, in Cyprus’s offshore Block 12 in 2011. It also contains 9 million barrels of condensate.
Plans call for a floating production storage and offloading vessel (FPSO) to process 8 bcm of gas a year and the construction of underwater pipelines connecting the well to Cyprus and Egypt, Delek said in a statement.
The planned Egyptian exports were made possible by a cooperation agreement the countries signed in February, Delek said, adding that the partners would submit their plans to the Cypriot government in the near future.
Noble is the project operator with a 70 percent stake. Delek, through two subsidiaries, holds the remaining 30 percent, but is in early-stage talks to buy an additional 19.9 percent for about $155 million.
Cyprus is seeking to develop its energy sector to bolster an economy that relies mostly on tourism, business services and shipping. The island has, for now, shelved plans to create its own liquefied natural gas terminal.