Government, Chevron reaffirm strategic importance of Aphrodite gas

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Nicosia and Chevron International reaffirmed that developing the Aphrodite offshore natural gas field in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) is of “strategic importance”.

The issue was discussed during a meeting that President Nikos Christodoulides had in New York with Chevron’s President Clay Neff and other officials of the US oil company.

Chevron underlined that commercial development of the gas field constitutes a priority for the company and takes place in the framework of energy plans in the Eastern Mediterranean.

According to a statement issued by the Presidency, “During the meeting, both the government and the company reaffirmed the strategic importance attributed to the development of Aphrodite gas field.”

Moreover, during the discussion, the two sides exchanged views regarding the plans carried out for exploiting energy resources in Cyprus’ EEZ, while they also touched upon the negotiations on Chevron’s development plan.

“President Christodoulides expressed the government’s intention and readiness for constructive cooperation to achieve our common objectives,” the Presidency said.

Last month, Cyprus rejected Chevron’s plan to develop Aphrodite, but the government is hopeful a compromise can be found.

The plan, submitted by the Chevron-led consortium of Shell and Israel’s NewMed Energy in May, aimed to connect the gas field to an existing processing and production facility in Egypt via a subsea pipeline.

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

The updated plan was rejected because it transferred financial advantages to the consortium away from the government.

Building the gas infrastructure was removed under the revised plan, increasing state costs.