US oil major Chevron, the operator of the Aphrodite gas field, has been given another new extension to reply to the government by December 1 over deadlocked negotiations.
Energy Minister George Papanastasiou confirmed to CNA that a deadline extension has been granted to discuss the reservoir’s development plan.
The Minister said, “There have been plenty of deliberations, and more are underway with a view to finding a mutually agreed solution.”
Papanastasiou said he believes there will be a positive outcome to the issue, and the consortium being given more time seems to suggest that.
He said what’s crucial for the Republic of Cyprus is infrastructure. In contrast, the amount of investment is crucial for the company.
Papanastasiou believes the US company is “striving to find a win-win solution.”
He refrained from elaborating on the discussions, noting that “any information may harm the negotiations underway.”
An initial development plan was submitted in 2019 by Noble Energy, the then-gas field operator that Chevron acquired.
Chevron 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 a compromise solution.
The stumbling block is the mode of transportation to Egypt.
Chevron favours utilising existing facilities off Idku, while Nicosia prefers a floating production unit (FPU), aligning with Noble’s 2019 proposal before withdrawing from the consortium.