Going ahead with natural gas infrastructure plans is important both financially and politically, Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Neoclis Sylikiotis has said.
In statements he made after a meeting he had with Board of Directors of Cyprus’ Hydrocarbons State Company (KRETYK) Sylikiotis noted that plans to construct a natural gas liquidation (LNG) plant should go ahead in a timely manner.
Without the LNG plant we cannot transfer natural gas to the international markets, he said, adding that no time should be wasted “as this is not only important financially but also politically”.
Sylikiotis further stressed that it is realistic to say that Cyprus will become an energy hub, adding that this is based on all the related circumstances which also have to do with Cyprus’ alliance with Israel and the other countries in the region.
Cyprus’ proposal for the creation of a South Eastern Mediterranean energy supply corridor is now being discussed at European level and has been accepted as an idea, something which several months ago was an idea just voiced by Cyprus mainly on a theoretical level, he added.
Sylikiotis rejected the idea of a possible pipeline through Turkey, recalling that Turkey occupies part of Cyprus.
Turkey invaded Cyprus in 1974 and occupied its northern third.
On his part KRETYK Chairman Charalambos Ellinas said the aim is for Cyprus to be an LNG export hub to Europe and other parts of the world.
KRETYK, he noted, will go ahead with the necessary procedures for the construction of an LNG plant, because there can be only one such hub to service the region.
In addition Ellinas stressed that the construction of an LNG plant and the export of natural gas by 2019 is an achievable goal.
He said that this was the subject matter of meetings which took place last week between KRETYK and a senior team of Noble, during which two dates for the final investment decision were pinpointed within 2015 as well as for LNG export to begin before 2019.
Replying to a question he said that talks with Noble are at an advanced stage, expressing the hope that an initial memorandum of agreement could be signed with the next few weeks.
Cyprus’ Hydrocarbons State Company (KRETYK) deals with all matters related to hydrocarbons.
Exploratory drilling conducted by Huston-based Noble Energy in Block 12 of Cyprus’ EEZ has revealed a gross natural gas reserve from 3 to 9 trillion cubic feet (tcf) with a 60% probability of geologic success.
Noble is expected to extract and transfer to Cyprus natural gas by late 2018.
Contracts were also signed on January 24 with the ENI/KOGAS consortium for hydrocarbons exploration in blocks 2, 3 and 9 within Cyprus’ EEZ.