Woodside Petroleum has pulled out of the Leviathan development in Israel after months of negotiations with partners failed to impress, raising concerns that the Australian major may also abandon its option to take a 30% stake in neighbouring Cyprus gasfields.
But Houston, Texas-based Noble Energy, operator of both Block 12 exploration in offshore Cyprus and in Leviathan, said Woodside’s withdrawal will not affect its own operations.
Noble is 70% operator of the first license awarded by the Cyprus government in 2007 and has so far reported disappointing natural gas reserves which would be commercially viable for exports but insufficient to supply a land-based LNG plant in Cyprus.
Noble was quoted by the Cyprus News Agency as saying that “the options under evaluation include the onshore LNG plant at Vasilikos, a floating LNG (FLNG) and export to regional Mediterranean markets via pipeline or marine compressed natural gas (CNG).”
“This decision (to terminate the MoU with Woodside in Leviathan) is not expected to impact our exploration and development activities offshore Cyprus, where we have confirmed a high-quality discovery with estimated gross mean resources of 5 Tcf”, it is stated.
“We remain committed to monetising Block 12 gas resources and are working with the (Cyprus) Ministry of Energy Commerce, Industry and Tourism to determine the optimum development scenario”, the company said.
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