Government extends deadline on Aphrodite plan

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The government has granted the Aphrodite gas field operator, US giant Chevron, another week extension to agree on the untapped reservoir’s development plan.

Israel’s NewMed Energy, a partner in the Aphrodite consortium, announced to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange the Cypriot Energy Ministry granted a seven-day extension, until 27 November 2023, to approve their consent to the Approved exploitation plan.

“The operator intends to continue its efforts to reach agreements with representatives of the Cypriot government with respect to the reservoir’s development plan,” it said.

The initial development plan was submitted in 2019 by Noble Energy, the then-gas field operator Chevron acquired.

The new operator submitted a revised plan rejected by the Cypriot government at the end of August.

The contract provided for 30 days of negotiation to resolve the dispute.

Since then, several extensions have been granted to find “common ground” as both sides have failed to reach a compromise.

Despite Cyprus’ commitment to exporting Aphrodite gas to Egypt’s Idku terminal, significant discrepancies exist in Chevron’s plan’s technical and economic aspects.

These discrepancies revolve around the number of wells designated for gas extraction from Aphrodite; the transportation mode, especially in terms of the scale of the required infrastructure for the Egyptian terminal; and the overall cost of the project, with Chevron’s proposal being more cost-effective but potentially impacting Cyprus’ state revenues.

The stumbling block is the transportation mode to Egypt.

Chevron favours utilising existing facilities off Idku, while Cyprus prefers a floating production unit (FPU), aligning with Noble’s 2019 proposal before withdrawing from the consortium.