NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Oil and gas company Chevron is “positive” about an Israeli-Cypriot plan for a pipeline that would transport offshore natural gas from the two countries to Cyprus where it would be liquefied for export by ship to Europe and elsewhere, an official said on Friday.
Cypriot Energy Minister Giorgos Papanastasiou said after talks with Chevron Vice President for Exploration and Production Frank Cassulo that the company also wanted to hear views from other participating energy companies. at a rally next week where the Cypriot government will officially present the plan in order to secure investor support.
Chevron has presented the Cypriot government with a plan to develop its Aphrodite field in waters south of the island, first discovered in 2011 and estimated to contain 4.2 trillion cubic feet of hydrocarbons.
Papanastasiou also pointed to recent statements by a senior ExxonMobil executive who said the oil and gas company was interested in Israel-Cyprus plans. ExxonMobil holds exploration licenses for two of the 13 areas – or blocks – of Cyprus that make up its exclusive economic zone. The company has already discovered a large gas deposit and the prospects for new discoveries seem “promising”.
Papanastasiou told The Associated Press last week that at least two major oil and gas companies – apart from Chevron – have expressed interest in the plan which aims to spur additional exploration, accelerate the development of fields and to guarantee sufficient quantities of gas so that Cyprus can wean off. on imported oil and reduce energy production costs.
The French Total and the Italian Eni are also partners in a consortium holding exploration licenses for seven blocks.
Next week’s workshop will bring together all companies involved in hydrocarbon exploration off Cyprus, as well as manufacturers of pipelines and liquefaction plants, investors and other high-tech companies, including Israeli companies.
The trump card of the pipeline-liquefaction plant project is its low cost compared to other export methods, allowing companies to recover their initial investment and realize profits much faster.
The approximately 320 kilometer (200 mile) pipeline is estimated at 450 million euros ($489 million) and the liquefaction plant at 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion).