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Energy companies express commitment to Eastern Med natural gas prospects

Energy companies operating in the Eastern Mediterranean have reaffirmed their commitment to the region’s prospects, with US oil major Chevron, who operates “Aphrodite”, considered the most mature gas field in the Cypriot EEZ, saying that it sees synergies between Cypriot natural gas and other activities in the region.

“This region has prolific resources, and there are significant resources yet to be discovered,” Kristan Svendsen, Country Manager for Chevron Cyprus told a panel discussion in the context of the Eastern Mediterranean Energy Conference taking place in Limassol.

Chevron is the operator of the Aphrodite gas field reservoir, estimated at around 4.4 trillion cubic feet along with Shell and NewMed Energy. The consortium is in discussions with the Cypriot authorities following a rejection of a revised development plan for Aphrodite by the Cypriot government. Chevron removed the floating production unit (FPU) from the development plant, proposing a pipeline linking the field with LNG facilities in Egypt, whereas Nicosia believes that the lack of the FPU deprives flexibility and entails risks. The negotiations have been extended until December 1.

“At Chevron, we very much see synergies between Cypriot natural gas and other activities in the region,” Svendsen added without further elaborating. He furthermore noted that “if Cypriot natural gas is developed this will come with tremendous benefits accompanied with revenues for the Republic of Cyprus and expand Cyprus’ economic influence.”

On his part, Roel Mass, Vice President, East Med Gas and LNG for Shell, which has a 35% stake in “Aphrodite” said that there are natural gas exports facilities in Egypt ready to be used, while there will be competition in case more infrastructure is created. “It would be a great waste for the industry, the money could be spent much better on other things,” he added.

On his part Luca Draconetti, Managing Directo of Italy’s ENI Cyprus said the company is fully engaged in the Cypriot EEZ with an appraisal well in block six and Cronos gas field currently underway, noting that “his personal engagement and effort is making sure the discovery in block 6 will be developed and have a commercial value.”

“We are pushing, because we need to unlock as much gas as possible in the shortest time because of renewables and hydrogen,” he added.

Varanvas Theodosiou, Cyprus Manager for ExxonMobil, said the US oil major is currently assessing and evaluating seismic data acquired for both Cyprus, Egypt, and Greece.

ExxonMobil with Qatar Energy has already carried out three drillings in block 10 of which one appraisal, and has made one discovery in “Glaucus” gas reservoir.

“We are in the process of interpretation and evaluation of the seismic data and we are planning to start a multi-country drilling programme at the back end of 2024 and that will take as up to perhaps of 2026,” he said.

Samuel Husy, Planning and Development Manager, Eastern Mediterranean for Total Energies said “The region’s potential is well known and we want to be a part of this.

Konstantinos Nikolaou, Vice President of Energean, with operations in Israel, Greece, and Egypt said exports of natural gas to Cyprus remain an option, noting that there are concerns due to a lack of infrastructure, while there is no natural gas market and the design of internal market is a state monopoly.

(Source: CNA)

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