Cyprus is targeting its first natural gas exports by 2026 from the Aphrodite gas field, Energy Minister Natasa Pilides said.
After a parliamentary committee hearing, Pilides said there are many options concerning natural gas infrastructures. One is a pipeline connecting Cypriot gas fields with Egypt, either a joint pipeline with Israeli gas fields or separately.
Pilides said there are advanced contacts with companies that own pipelines from various gas fields to the Egyptian natural gas infrastructure and the contractor companies.
“Therefore, they should also be engaged in the talks to develop the infrastructure within the timeframe of three to four years.
“Our primary aim is to export natural gas from Cyprus within this timeframe through Aphrodite.”,
She said the development would be easier if additional confirmed natural gas quantities were discovered.
Cyprus’ first natural gas discovery, Aphrodite, is estimated to hold a gross reserve of between 3.6 to 6 trillion cubic feet (tcf).
Explorations carried out by Italy’s ENI in block 6 of the Cypriot EEZ revealed the extension of a Zhor-type carbonate play into Cyprus.
Exploration carried out by ExxonMobil/Qatar Energy in the Glafcus field in Block 10 revealed an estimated gas field of 5 to 8 tcf.
US energy giant ExxonMobil also carried out an appraisal well in Glaucus but has not announced confirmed quantities yet.
“The results in Glafcus and other exploration wells by ENI-TOTAL will be of great importance concerning the broader picture,” Pilides said.
She said the aim was to exploit Cypriot natural gas reserves as the EU is pursuing energy diversification in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the ensuing sanctions against Moscow.
Moreover, Pilides said the option of a pipeline to Turkey is quite difficult, facing the same challenges as other projects of technical and financial difficulties.
She referred to the “very constructive” virtual meeting with the EU Energy Commissioner last week, who requested Cyprus table its energy plans.
Cyprus has submitted a letter to the EU Commissioner outlining the opportunities stemming from its gas reserves and ways to export natural gas to the EU, and Cyprus’ role in cooperating with countries in the Eastern Mediterranean.