Cyprus Gas Deal Moves Forward

YERUSHALAYIM (Hamodia Staff) -
Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades (L) and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Monday. (REUTERS/Abir Sultan/Pool)
Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades (L) and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Monday. (REUTERS/Abir Sultan/Pool)

Israel and Cyprus moved closer on Monday to joint development of the Aphrodite natural gas reservoir, located in Cypriot territorial waters, Globes reported.

Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, in Israel for meetings with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin, also conferred with Delek Group controlling shareholder Yitzhak Tshuva to further the gas deal.

The plan calls for an independent floating production facility to be built in the area of the reservoir, and connected to Cyprus and Egypt by pipeline.

Egypt last February signed an energy cooperation agreement with Cyprus. The two countries estimated that within six months, a memorandum of intent would be signed by Egyptian national gas company Egas and Cypriot national gas company CHC.

The memorandum will not include the commercial terms, such as the price of the gas, but it will enable them to work out crucial technical aspects of the deal, such as how to transport the gas directly from Aphrodite to Egypt. They will also explore the possibility of liquefying the gas imported from Cyprus with third parties, like British Gas and Union Fenosa.

Located in Block 12, Aphrodite, which contains 4.54 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of natural gas and nine million barrels of natural gas condensate, is Cyprus’s only gas reservoir. Aphrodite is owned by Delek Drilling Limited Partnership (15%), Avner Oil and Gas LP (15%), and Noble Energy (70%).

Delek Group reported only two weeks ago that it was in preliminary negotiations to acquire 19.9% of Noble Energy’s stake in the reservoir, and the partners last week submitted their development program for it to the Cypriot government.