US exploration company Noble Energy said on Thursday that it has not held any talks with Turkish companies to transport natural gas produced from Block 12 of the Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone to Turkey.
Noble issued a statement in response to press reports suggesting that it was in talks to plan a sub-sea pipeline into Turkey and from there overland to western Europe, that “regarding the reports on the interview with [former diplomat] Matthew Bryza, Noble Energy has not held any conversations with any Turkish entities regarding natural gas from Block 12 going to Turkey”.
In addition, it noted that “rumours that the company is withdrawing from Cyprus are untrue and unsubstantiated”.
“We are working diligently to fully appraise the natural gas resources of Block 12 and to commercialise those resources for the benefit of the people of Cyprus”, the statement concluded.
Bryza, a former official at the US State Department who has been hired by the Turkish state-owned Turcas Oil, said in an interview that Noble Energy is holding discussions with Turcas Oil and Zorlu group for the construction of a pipeline for the export of Cyprus’ and Israel’s natural gas to Europe.
Last June the Cyprus government, Noble and its Israeli partners Delek and Avner signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the construction of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Cyprus to process output from the offshore Cyprus gasfields, that lie adjacent to the Israeli gasfields, also operated by the same consortium.
The ENI - KOGAS consortium, which has signed a contract for hydrocarbons exploration in blocks 2, 3 and 9 of the Cyprus EEZ, is planning to drill in the third quarter of 2014, while France’s Total, which has signed a contract for blocks 10 and 11, is also proceeding with drilling in 2015.
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