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Noble seeks construction of LNG terminal in Cyprus as soon as possible

10 June, 2013

Cyprus National Hydrocarbons Company (CNHC) has been briefed by Noble Energy on the results of a preliminary study for the construction and operation of a Liquefied Natural Gas terminal (LNG).

The briefing was held in Nicosia on Monday in the context of a meeting between CNHC and Noble.

The study was conducted on behalf of Noble by French company Technip which specializes in building and operating natural gas and oil terminals.

During the meeting, Noble expressed the wish that the construction of the terminal would move forward as soon as possible due to a possible liquefied natural gas price drop in the future.

CNHC President Charles Ellinas told CNA that Noble presented in a comprehensive manner the results of the preliminary planning for the terminal construction, the so-called pre FEED, as he said, concerning both the technical and economic aspect of the project.

He noted that Noble tabled suggestions on how Cyprus should proceed with the project, adding that Noble’s briefing of the results on the planning of the terminal has been gradually taking place during the very frequent meetings with CNHC.

Ellinas also said that the meeting was "good", noting that the CNHC was also briefed on issues concerning the environment, safety and staff employment for the needs of the construction of the terminal.

He stressed that the formation of a joint venture between Noble and CNHC should be made as early as possible for the construction works to start.

To this end, he added, an LNG Project Agreement must be agreed and signed as quickly as possible.

In conclusion, he said that Noble would like to see the construction of the terminal to proceed as soon as possible, because, as he explained, it believes that the next two years are an important period for the sale of liquefied natural gas and that this opportunity should not be missed.

"What they want to say," he added, "is that the implementation of the project must not be delayed because no one can know how liquefied natural gas prices will fluctuate in the future as they might go down and thus an opportunity may be missed”.

On Friday, Noble began drilling at the A-2 appraisal well location in block 12, which will take 60 to 90 days. In 2011 Noble announced that exploratory drilling in block 12`s A-1 well revealed an estimated resource of 5 trillion cubic feet (tcf) to 8 tcf, with a mean of 7 tcf.

"The drilling results from the A-2 well will help Noble Energy confirm the estimated resource size and provide information required to initiate planning of subsequent stages of development," Noble said in a statement.

Announcing a road map on natural gas exploitation, Cyprus' Energy Minister George Lakkotrypis said that the final investment decision for block 12 will be taken in the third quarter of 2015 and that Cyprus will be in position to export LNG from block 12 in late 2019 or early 2020.