Just two days after the Tamar and Leviathan Israeli natural gas partnerships signed a contract to export gas to Egyptian company Dolphinus, Cyprus is also close to signing a an agreement to export gas from the Aphrodite gas reservoir to Egypt, the Bloomberg news agency reported yesterday. In this case, too, Yitzhak Tshuva, a co-owner of Aphrodite, will benefit.
The agreement reportedly involves the supply of natural gas to liquefaction facilities in Idku and Damietta in Egypt located 645 kilometers south of Cyprus.
"Cyprus is close to selling natural gas to Egypt, and we are likely to sign the agreement in the coming weeks," Cypriot Minister of Energy Yiorgos Lakkotrypis told Bloomberg.
The Aphrodite gas reservoir, owned by Delek Drilling Limited Partnership (TASE: DEDR.L), Noble Energy, and, and Royal Shell, contains 120 BCM of gas. The reservoir, discovered in 2010, has not yet been developed. Its development is slated to be in combination with the second development stage in Leviathan, which is located only 30 kilometers away, in order to lower the development costs by using a single platform for both drillings. After the way was paved for the second stage of development in Leviathan through the signing of a contract with Dolphinus, the development of Aphrodite is now also making progress.
Two weeks ago, "Globes" reported the discovery of a new gas reservoir, Calypso, in Bloc 6, 80 kilometers from the southern coast of Cyprus. This reservoir is likely to contain 230 BCM. The development rights to this reservoir belong to Italian company ENI and French company Total in equal shares.
Calypso and the upcoming development of Aphrodite are likely to make Cyprus an important player in the Middle Eastern natural gas market in competition with Israel.
It is nevertheless important to mention that Cyprus's geopolitical situation is complicated by its difficult relations with Turkey. Cyprus has been divided into two sections since 1974: a Turkish section in the north and a Greek section in the south controlled by an independent and officially recognized Cypriot government in the south. Cyprus has border agreements for economic waters with Israel, Egypt, and Lebanon, but Turkey is claiming sovereignty over some of Cyprus's economic waters.
Published by Globes [online], Israel Business News - www.globes-online.com - on February 21, 2018
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