Aphrodite gas linked to Egypt

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The offshore Aphrodite natural gas field developed in Cypriot waters will be connected to an existing processing and production facility in Egypt via a subsea pipeline, one of the partners in the project said.

Israel’s NewMed Energy said it had submitted a development plan with partners Chevron and Shell for Cypriot government approval.

The group met the Cypriot energy minister on Monday to discuss progress.

“The updated plan is expected to accelerate and reduce the cost of development,” NewMed told Reuters.

Aphrodite, discovered more than a decade ago about 170 km (105 miles) from Limassol, holds an estimated 124 billion cubic metres of gas.

NewMed has a 30% stake in the field, while Chevron and Shell each hold a 35% share.

Earlier this month, the group said it had begun drilling an exploration well to confirm the estimates. It would later be used for production.

Chevron said in a statement it was “currently working to progress the Aphrodite project.”

“Beyond this, it is not our policy to comment on commercial matters,” it said.

Despite its discovery in 2011, Aphrodite is yet untapped, with commercialisation projected for 2028.

New Med Energy CEO, Yossi Abu, told the Israeli financial newspaper Globes that the regional relations they have developed create new opportunities for international cooperation and at the level of infrastructure, which will help transport natural gas wherever there is demand.

He added that “we are immediately promoting the plan for exploiting the Aphrodite field” within this framework.

Chevron, the field operator, expects the new plan to lower originally estimated development costs and bring forward the production start of natural gas from the reservoir due to using existing infrastructures in Egypt.

The original development plan would have involved the construction of a floating independent production facility in the area of the Aphrodite reservoir.

The development plan’s total cost, including the installation of pipelines to target markets, is estimated at about $3.6 bln.

The partners are seeking to supply natural gas from the Aphrodite field to the domestic market in Cyprus and export natural gas by pipeline to other markets, including Egypt and the global LNG market.

The supply of natural gas from the Aphrodite reservoir is expected in 2027 at the earliest, according to NewMed Energy.