Mighty Aphrodite: Offshore Cyprus
The Aphrodite gas field located off the coast of Cyprus in the Mediterranean Sea represents a lucrative opportunity for the country, which has run into financial hardship over the last few years. Here, Rigzone takes a look at how the project is set to develop.
Discovered in 2011 in Block 12 of Cyprus's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), results from drilling evaluation work indicate that Aphrodite contains a mean estimate gross resource of about 4.5 trillion cubic feet (Tcf).
The majority stake in Aphrodite is held by Texas, U.S.-based energy firm Noble Energy Inc., which controls a 70-percent portion of the find. Noble also drilled the initial Cyprus A-1 well at the site using the Noble Homer Ferrington (DW semisub). Delek Drilling and Avner Oil Exploration, both of which are subsidiaries of Israel's Delek Group, each hold 15 percent of Aphrodite.
Where Will the Gas End Up and When?
Increasing consumption and declining production has led to an energy shortage in Egypt, which has opened the door to a potential energy partnership between one of the most populous Arab countries and Cyprus.
Cyprus and Egypt signed a memorandum of understanding on energy cooperation back in February 2015 and the two countries are aiming to reach a deal on Egyptian imports of Cypriot gas by August 2015, according to the Egyptian Prime Minister's office. Egyptian Oil Minister Sherif Ismail didn't expect any prices to be discussed during this time, however, he believed that these "will be negotiated after the expiration of the six months."
Daily News Egypt recently reported that the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) is looking to import approximately 700 million cubic feet of gas per day from the Aphrodite site. In a statement to the independent Egyptian newspaper, EGAS Chairman Khaled Abdel Badie stated that a marine pipeline linking the two regions could be completed within 2.5 to 3 years with Cypriot gas being sent to Egypt by 2017.
Reports have suggested Jordan to be another potential buyer of Cypriot gas and the recent Nicosia Declaration – signed by leaders of Cyprus, Egypt and Greece, and which looks to promote economic cooperation between the countries – could suggest that Cypriot gas may eventually end up in Europe via Cyprus' Mediterranean neighbor. There is no absolute confirmation yet that Jordan or Greece will be looking to buy Cypriot gas from the Aphrodite site, so it's difficult to predict a delivery timeframe for these regions right now.
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